ADB warns climate change ‘disastrous’ for Asia
ADB warns climate change ‘disastrous’ for Asia
A continued reliance on fossil fuels will see the world’s most populous region face prolonged heat waves, rising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns that will disrupt the ecosystem, damage livelihoods and possibly even cause wars, it said.
“Unabated climate change threatens to undo many of the development advancements of the last decades, not least by incurring high economic losses,” the report from the Manila-based bank said.
By the end of the century, parts of the continent could see mean temperatures shoot up to eight degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as the global mean temperature rises by half that, it added.
“A business-as-usual scenario will lead to disastrous climate impacts for the people of Asia and the Pacific, especially for poor and vulnerable populations,” it said.
But it said the region could avert disaster by shifting to renewable energy sources.
The 2015 Paris climate accord commits nations to keep global temperatures well below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.
While a 2 degrees Celsius rise will be difficult to manage, “one can assume that a 4 degrees Celsius increase would lead to humanitarian disasters in many nations and result in unmanageable migration flows or locked-in populations,” the report said.
Asia as a whole would see sea levels rise by 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) within this century, nearly twice the projected increase under the Paris deal, and face more destructive cyclones, it said.
In this scenario, the report said the region’s coral reef systems would collapse from mass bleaching, with severe consequences for fisheries and tourism.
Melting Asian glaciers would cause both floods and water shortages, disrupting agriculture, and increase dependence on rainfall to meet water needs.
The impact of such changes on access to energy and natural resources were all potential powderkegs for conflict, it said.
The study projects additional heat-related deaths of nearly 52,000 elderly people across the region annually by the 2050s, nearly 8,000 extra diarrheal deaths in South Asia, and some 10,000 more malaria and dengue deaths in Asia.
Asia’s global economic links mean that extreme climate events could disrupt supply chains not only in the region but also in the rest of the world, it warned.
Despite stunning economic growth that saw Asian per capita incomes rise 10-fold in the past 25 years, it remains home to the majority of the world’s poor, the ADB said.
This, along with the fact that a large share of its population inhabit low-lying coastlines, has made the world’s largest continent “particularly vulnerable” to climate change.
Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Thailand are among the world’s top 10 countries most affected by extreme weather events, it said.
The ADB vowed in 2015 to double its climate finance mitigation investments to $6 billion by 2020, including $2 billion to help countries shift to renewable energy.
German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested
BERLIN: A German court on Tuesday rejected a request from prosecutors to take former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont back into custody pending a decision on whether he can be extradited to Spain.
Puigdemont was detained by German police March 25 after crossing the border from Denmark. Spain had issued a European arrest warrant and sought his extradition on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds — charges that stem from an unauthorized referendum last year on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
He was released April 6 after a German court said it appeared he can’t be extradited for rebellion, the more serious of the two charges. But prosecutors in the northern town of Schleswig argued that new information provided by Spanish authorities suggests that would be possible.
They cited videos showing violence against Spanish police and said in a statement that “the disturbances were on such a scale that prosecutors believe that he should also be extradited over the accusation of rebellion.” The prosecutors argued that the charge is comparable to two offenses under German law — treason and breaching the peace.
They said that Puigdemont would pose a flight risk and called for him to be taken back into custody. The state court in Schleswig disagreed and rejected the request.
Puigdemont remains free with certain conditions, including reporting to police once a week.
The separatist politician has been living in Berlin, frequently receiving political allies from Catalonia including his newly elected successor as regional president, Quim Torra.
The Schleswig court said it is “still open” when a final decision will be made on whether Puigdemont can be extradited. It said that the prosecutors have yet to submit a formal application to examine whether an extradition is possible.