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Report Estimates LAC Needs for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

eclac-idb22 April 2013: A report published jointly by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will require US$17-27 billion to adapt to the unavoidable physical impacts of climate change projected for the region, and about US$100 billion annually in mitigation investments to meet the global climate stabilization goal.

The report, titled “The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean: Options for climate-resilient, Low Carbon Development,” indicates that if LAC is to reach the global climate stabilization goals of two tons per capita (tpc) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year by 2050, it will require a 97% reduction in carbon emissions from the region's power sector, a 50% cut in agricultural emissions, and a widespread electrification of the transport sector, all of which will require about US$66 billion, US$10 billion and US$30 billion per year in net annual investments, respectively.

The report further notes that, in order to meet the stabilization goal, LAC must adopt stringent agriculture, forestry and other land use policies that ensure zero net emissions from deforestation and land use by 2030. The study warns that if LAC pursues a "business as usual" trajectory, its annual carbon emissions would likely reach seven gigatons CO2e, or 9.3 tpc, by 2050, mostly due to increased emissions from the transport and power generation sectors.

The study suggests that in order to adapt to unavoidable physical impacts in the region from climate change, regardless of the cuts in emissions achieved through mitigation measures, LAC will require US$17-27 billion in adaptation measures, which is equivalent to between one sixth to one fourth of the projected costs of inaction. It stresses, however, that even with adaptation measures, LAC is still likely to experience significant loss of natural capital. The report was released by the IDB on 22 April 2013. [IDB Press Release] [Publication: The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean: Options for Climate-resilient, Low Carbon Development]