Dubai: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Kristalina Georgieva, warned that “climate shocks” over the next decades are going to present a daunting challenge for all nations.
At the launch of the “Feeling the Heat” report at the World Government Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said extreme weather events typically cut annual economic growth by 1-2 percentage points per capita.
Even accounting for significant global cuts to emissions, by 2050, average summertime temperatures could exceed 30 °C in half of the region’s countries, “came a stark warning from the IMF head.
“In the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-region, the event caused a permanent loss in the GDP level of 5.5 percentage points. Today’s climate challenges are already exacting a heavy toll. And we know our planet is set to keep on getting warmer, “she said.
“With just 1.1°C of warming is what we are experiencing today. We already have half the global population facing water shortages, and this problem is strongly felt in this region. She warned. “We know that the frequency and severity of climate events has intensified, and this is particularly dramatic when it comes to droughts, floods, and hurricanes in more vulnerable communities and poor countries.” She warned.
Kristalina Georgieva also asked the Middle East and Central Asian (MECA) countries to drastically reduce “carbon emissions” as climate disasters in the region have severe impacts that could displace around seven million people and cause more than 2,600 deaths per year on average.
The IMF chief said the climate change disaster caused $2 billion in physical damage to the MECA region.
The IMF report launch was attended by Maryam Al Muhairi, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Mohammed bin Hadi Al Husseini, the UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs; and Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment.
The IMF chief stressed that regional countries need to drastically cut emissions to stabilize global temperatures and make the adaptation challenge more manageable.
She also called for prioritising high-value and “no-regrets” risk management measures justified under all plausible future climate scenarios while building adaptive capacity for future change.