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CHILE
Climate change´s cost
11/26/2009
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New report unveils multi-billion problem for South American nation.

Warmer temperatures and subsequent water shortages in Chile could cost the nation some US$300 billion by 2100, according to a new report by three Chilean universities and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report, entitled “The Economy of Climate Change in Chile” estimated that temperature increase of between 2º and 4º C and 30 percent less rainfall in central Chile would have a direct, detrimental effect on agriculture, hydroelectric power, mining and human consumption.

The study, which ECLAC conducted with the Catholic University, University of Valparaíso and the University of Chile, and be presented in Copenhagen in December for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, fond that while Chile is vulnerable to climate change, there is still time to take measures to avoid catastrophe.

“We have to act now,” Sebastián Vicuña, who led the study, told the magazine América Economía. “We can´t wait for the impacts to come.”

When the report was presented in Chile Nov. 20 Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman said the high energy required to produce Chilean exports, particularly mineral and cellulose, “have left us very vulnerable.”

Chile´s government says it is trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which have increased 166 percent over the last 25 years, with the energy sector responsible for 85 percent.

“We have to push for public policies that aim to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in Chile,” said Vicuña. “We have to learn to break the vicious cycle that impacts sustainable development for future generations.”

Environment Minister Ana Lya Uriarte called on leaders in Copenhagen to continue with an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 50 percent by 2050.
—Latinamerica Press.


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