Bangkok (Agenzia Fides) - By 2030 the world will face around 560 natural disasters a year and most of these events will affect Asia. This emerges from the Global Assessment Report 2022 published by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-UNDRR. According to the organization, the rapid increase in the frequency of such disasters is due to climate change and poor risk management. Most Asian countries with high disaster risk are also among those with the highest proportion of population living below the national poverty line: the Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is also corroborated by another recent United Nations dossier, according to which average annual greenhouse gas emissions in the years 2010 to 2019 reached the highest level in human history while the growth rate has slowed. In its report "Climate Change 2022", the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that limiting the increase in global warming to 1.5°C without immediate and deep emissions cuts in all sectors remains elusive. But the report shows also that Asia in particular is a region that is severely affected by climate change and at the same time is responsible for high emission rates.
The risk is also reiterated by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which estimates that in 2021 alone more than 57 million people in Asia were affected by climate-related disasters, and that in the worst-case scenario — according to a McKinsey Global Institute report predicted back in 2020 - by 2050 a significant majority of people living in areas prone to deadly disasters will reside in Asia.
Asia is thus the region most exposed to climate risk and the increase in natural disasters (to which humans are a major contributor) and is also the most densely populated region on earth. Asia's two biggest emitters are China and India, which pledged to phase out coal soon at the UN climate summit COP26 last year. According to a report by research and consultancy firm Rhodium Group, China's greenhouse gas emissions are said to have surpassed those of the entire developed world for the first time in 2019, despite reportedly stepping up efforts to tackle climate change and pledged to build coal-fired power plants outside its borders to stop and to support other countries in the development of renewable energy systems.
As for India, although it has set a zero emissions target for 2070, the Asian giant could see global energy demand grow over the next 20 years without it - warns a report by IQAir, a Swiss quality technology company air - no urban area has met the guidelines on air quality, given by the World Health Organization.
However, many observers agree that Asian countries' difficulties are compounded by the hesitancy of more developed countries: the funds pledged by rich countries are largely still on paper, while the time left is shrinking every year. (EG/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/4/2022)