Asia-Pacific Called Grossly Unprepared for Climate Change

Posted March 12th, 2012 at 1:40 am (UTC-5)
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A senior development official says Asia-Pacific nations must undergo “transformational change” if they are to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

Bindu Lohani, a vice president of the Asian Development Bank, said at a conference in Bangkok Monday that resources now available to make roads, sewers, bridges and pipelines safe from climate change are “grossly inadequate.”

Lohani warned that public lenders and private investors cannot continue to put money into infrastructure projects without considering their ability to withstand warmer temperatures, rising sea levels and more violent storms.

He estimated the cost of building societies that are resilient to climate change across the region at about $40 billion per year through 2050. That compares to just $4.4 billion for 2009-2010.

Lohani is the ADB's vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development. He was speaking at the second Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, which brings together representatives of governments, regional intergovernmental bodies and international organizations, among others.