ISLAMABAD: At least 800 million people living in South Asia are stand to be at risk of facing diminished living conditions due to climate change if nothing is done to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank warned in its recent report.
The study identified “hot spots” where the deterioration is expected to be most severe while taking into account all six countries of South Asia.
“The analyses reveal that hot spots tend to be more disadvantaged districts, even before the effects of changes in average weather are felt,” the report concluded. “Hot spots are characterized by low household consumption, poor road connectivity, limited access to markets, and other development challenges.”
Karachi emerged in the hot spots category because higher temperatures are forecast to lower labor productivity and worsen public health.
The study noted that from 1950 to 2010, southwestern Pakistan have already seen average temperatures rise in the range of 1 degree Celsius to 3 degrees per year.
It predicted that across South Asia annual average temperatures are projected to rise by 2.2 degrees Celsius (3.9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050 under a high emissions scenario, and by 1.6 degrees Celsius if steps are taken to reduce global emissions.