Friday, May 29, 2009

Climate change - Rise of extreme weather events

If climate change impact becomes bigger in years to come then we could expect more frequent extreme weather events (flooding, drought, tropical storms, etc.). The people that are worst hit by these weather-related hazards are mostly poor people that live in several Asian countries. This is why United Nation's chief Ban Ki-moon called for decisive action to reduce the impact of climate change. He says that national governments simply need to do much more to reduce the risks which disproportionately affect the poor.

Extreme weather events are definitely on the rise, and many people lost their lives because of them. Just last year alone 236 000 people lost their lives in over 300 disasters, more than 200 million people were directly affected, with total economic damage of over 180 billion dollars. Asia is continent mostly affected by severe weather events. Numbers say how nine of the top 10 countries with the highest number of disaster-related deaths were in Asia. For instance 75 percent of those who die from floods live in just three countries - Bangladesh, China and India.

What rich countries really need to do is to help these poor countries to adapt to severe weather changes that are coming with global warming and climate change. Poor countries can not fight alone severe weather events and once climate change impact becomes stronger we will count victims in millions unless something is done. UN's Chief said how governments should invest in upgrading squatter settlements, provide the land for the urban poor, and protect rural livelihoods and ecosystems.

These all could really help poor countries to adapt to severe weather changes but only under one condition - significant reduction of CO2 emissions on global level. Without significant cut in CO2 emissions poor countries really have no chance to adapt to climate change because in this scenario climate change impact would grow much bigger than expected, therefore not giving world enough time for an appropriate action. This is why world must agree new climate deal as soon as possible, and reduce current CO2 emissions on global level. Lives of millions of people around the world are at stake here. Any delay means more deaths and more suffering. We must prevent this at any cost.

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