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ECLAC Report Finds Central America Vulnerable to Climate Change

7 December 2010: The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has released a report that finds Central America may be one of the regions most adversely affected by climate change in socioeconomic terms.

"The Economics of Climate Change in Central America Synthesis 2010" was presented at a side event at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico. This report provides an initial assessment of the potential economic and social impacts of climate change  through 2100 on Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The report examines climate change's potential impact not only on the overall economies of the seven countries and the region as a whole, but also on key sectors, such as agriculture, water resources, energy and biodiversity.

The report concludes that, by 2100, climate change could cost Central America as a whole as much as US$73 billion, or 54% of the region's GDP in 2008 at present net value. The report is part of the "economics of climate change in Central America" series of studies launched in 2009 by ECLAC in cooperation with the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), the Secretariat of the Central American Economic Integration System (SIECA), and the Ministries of Environment and Finance of the seven countries involved. Initial funding for the project was provided by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID); further work is to be funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). [ECLAC Press Release] [Publication: The Economics of Climate Change in Central America: Summary 2010] [Publication: La Economía del Cambio Climático en Centroamérica: Síntesis 2010]