Climate Change in South Asia: 12 Things to Know | Asian Development Bank

Climate Change in South Asia: 12 Things to Know

Article | 16 October 2014

Unless there is a concerted effort worldwide to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, South Asia will suffer huge economic, social, and environmental damage from the consequences of climate change.

  1. A warming trend of about 0.75°C has been observed in annual mean temperatures in South Asia over the past century.
    Source: ADB. 2014. Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  2. Between 1990 and 2008, over 750 million people in South Asia were affected by at least one natural disaster, resulting in almost 230,000 deaths.
    Source: ADB. 2014. Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  3. The livelihoods of more than 200 million people in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are threatened by the rapid loss of snow cover in the Himalayas and rising sea levels.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Clean Technologies Could Cut South Asia Emissions by a Fifth by 2020 at Little Cost
  4. Without global action on climate change, temperatures may rise by 4.6°C. The collective economy of six countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka - could shrink by up to 1.8% every year by 2050 and 8.8% by 2100, on average.
    Source: ADB. 2014. Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  5. If the global community succeeds in keeping the mean temperature rise to 2°C or less under the Copenhagen-Cancun agreement, South Asia’s economy would, on average, only be reduced by 1.3% annually by 2050 and 2.5% by 2100.
    Source: ADB. 2014. Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  6. Under the mean temperature rise of 2°C or less scenario, annual adaptation costs for South Asia would be on average 0.36% of gross domestic product, or $31 billion, by 2050 and 0.48% of GDP, or $41 billion by 2100.
    Source: ADB. 2014. Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia
  7. While GHG emissions in South Asia have historically been low, the high rate of urbanization is causing energy consumption and fossil fuel use to grow rapidly.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  8. Unless clean technologies are deployed, energy-related GHG emissions from Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka will rise from about 58 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2005 to about 245 million in 2030, largely due to rising energy consumption by industry and transport.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs
  9. Cities in South Asia are suffering from the growing problem of solid waste disposal. Total annual GHG emissions from solid waste for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were estimated to reach 106 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2005 and 606 million tons by 2030.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  10. Introducing green technologies that only cost up to $10 per ton of GHG emissions could cut 20% off 2020's projected energy-related annual emissions.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs
  11. Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka provide ideal climactic conditions for the organic decomposition of waste matter that generates methane gas, which can be converted to clean energy.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Financing Low-Carbon Urban Development in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context
  12. Introducing a carbon tax in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka could help these countries shift toward clean, renewable sources and prevent the release of almost 1 billion tons of energy-related GHGs between now and 2030.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs