13 December 2003

Climate change 'cost $60b' in 2003

Climate change may have cost the world over $60 (AU$81) billion in 2003, triggering a spate of natural disasters from a deadly heat wave in Europe to massive flooding in China, the United Nations has said.

In a report released on Wednesday, the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said the cost of natural disasters had risen 10 percent from $55 billion in 2002 and was part of a worrying trend of climate change.

The agency, which is hosting a 12-day climate conference that ends Friday in Milan, called on nations to make a greater effort to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, as a way of tackling the crisis.

'Climate change is not a prognosis, it is a reality that is, and will increasingly, bring human suffering and economic hardship,' UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said.

'Developed countries have a responsibility to reduce their emissions, but also have a responsibility to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of global warming.

Seems like a lot of money to pay for not ratifying Kyoto or acting on global warming.

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