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Climate change not as big a problem: report

delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2008 10:11 IST
Chetan Chauhan

An international civil society report has debunked the claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying there is no evidence to show loss of human life directly due to climate change.

The report of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change, to be released in India on Tuesday, says there is no evidence to suggest climate change has caused an increase in diseases. “If the main causes of diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria are properly addressed, climate change will not increase their incidence,” the report says.

Paul Reiter, an international health expert, says in the report that the complex interaction of these factors makes it difficult to predict the likely impact of long-term climate change on the transmission of malaria. “The rapid increase in the incidence of many diseases worldwide is a major cause of concern but the principal determinants are politics, economics, human ecology and human behaviour,” he says.

The report also allays the fears raised in the IPCC report on the impact of climate change on agricultural production. “With continued technological improvements, the trend of growth in agricultural production will continue till 2100, even if global mean temperature rises by three degree Celsius,” it says.

Analysis of data on deaths due to natural disasters till 2007 show mortality rates have declined by 95 per cent or more since 1920. Therefore, the report castigates climate alarmists to cite individual weather events — cyclones or floods — as evidence of the impact of global warming.

The society does not agree with the IPCC recommendation to cut greenhouse emissions, saying it would undermine the capacity of the poor to address the problems they face. Only economic growth can help them solve their problems. Cutting greenhouse emissions will just retard economic growth, the report says.

Not climate change but lack of wealth and technology is the reason for the death of millions of poor worldwide, the report points out. “These problems have generally been exacerbated — not alleviated — by foreign aid, which has supported unaccountable governments that have oppressed their citizens, denying them the ability to improve their lot,” it adds.