The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific

Description

The Pacific developing member countries of ADB are highly vulnerable to the predicted effects of climate change, including higher sea levels, intense storm surges and cyclones, erratic rainfall patterns, and major temperature fluctuations.

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This study identifies the effects and quantifies the costs of these adverse outcomes to the Pacific island economies, with details provided for selected key sectors including agriculture, fisheries, tourism, coral reefs, and human health. It then presents policy recommendations and action steps for the countries to minimize or mitigate these impacts, particularly by mainstreaming climate change in their development plans, adopting forward-looking and risk-based approaches to climate change, and climate-proofing both their programs and infrastructure so that poverty eradication and sustainable development efforts can continue regardless of the vagaries of climate.

Findings

Some of the report's findings include the following:

  • The Pacific nations are uniquely sensitive to the manifold effects of climate change. The effects of climate change are projected to intensify in the coming decades. The combination and interaction of geographic, economic, environmental, and demographic factors are expected to make the Pacific region particularly sensitive to climate change. All of these factors should therefore be duly taken into account as the region moves forward in adapting to a changing climate;
  • Mainstreaming climate change actions in development planning is crucial to minimize the impacts of climate change; and
  • A forward-looking adaptation strategy is key to addressing the multitude of climate change impacts, with low-regret options and built-in flexibility as basis for a robust adaptation pathway.