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Climate change erased a fifth of exposed nations’ growth

PARIS: Climate-vulnerable countries said disasters and weather patterns driven by global warming have wiped out around a fifth of their economic growth, in a report published on Wednesday amid growing calls for funding to help nations hammered by weather extremes. The research, released by a consortium of 55 developing nations across Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific, comes as UN climate negotiators meeting in Germany wrangle over “loss and damage” — the costs of climate change impacts that are already unfolding.

According to the report, heat, changes in rainfall patterns and other weather extremes are already putting a severe dent in developing economies.

Ghana’s Finance Minister Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta, who wrote the preface to the report, said the finding should “sound alarm bells for the world economy”, calling for global action to support nations most exposed.

The research, carried out on behalf of finance ministers, compared observed losses to modelling that estimates how the economies might have grown without the impacts of climate change. It finds that rising temperature and modified rainfall patterns have already reduced wealth in these countries by 20 per cent, or $525 billion, over the last two decades.

“We are bearing this alarmingly high economic cost, despite having contributed the least to causing climate change, while also being least equipped to respond to its costly consequences,” the report said. — AFP

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