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Climate Change Losses for Southeast Asia Well Above Previous Estimate

Economic losses from the impacts of climate change in Southeast Asia could be 60% higher than previously estimated, reducing the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 11% by 2100, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study. The analysis is an update to a 2009 ADB report that estimated a 7% annual reduction in economic output due to climate change.

“The economic costs of not reining in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are more serious than we previously estimated,” said ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei. “At the same time, this new study also shows that reducing emissions and stabilizing the climate will produce benefits and avoid losses for Southeast Asia, which in the long run sharply outweigh the costs of action.”

An ADB Brief which summarizes these findings, Southeast Asia and the Economics of Global Climate Stabilization, was released during the COP21 conference on climate change in Paris. The study looks at the economic impact of climate change across a range of scenarios, including business-as-usual, and another which sees countries take steps to limit their GHG emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.

Axel Drainville

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