IMF: Greener growth could reduce climate change risks

Every year since 1990, natural disasters have cost Vietnam on average about 1 per cent of GDP and caused some 500 casualties. It was affected by 12 major storms last year, which caused deadly floods and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and hectares of crops.Vietnam’s vulnerability is exacerbated by its 2,150-mile-long coastline and proximity to the tropics. Its 95 million people and the bulk of its economic assets, including a large rural population, are concentrated in the coastal lowlands, which are susceptible to typhoons.The IMF believes climate change will likely exacerbate pressure on the environment. More frequent and more intense storms could affect crop yields and production, impacting rural incomes, food security, and commodity exports.Increased rainfall intensity will damage roads and railroad networks. Higher temperatures will raise demand for electricity. Risks will weigh disproportionally on the poor, who could be forced to migrate inland or towards large cities. By 2100, climate change could impact more than 12 per cent of the Vietnamese population and reduce growth by 10 per cent, according to the IMF.Wanted: More sustainable growthVietnam’s strong economic performance has helped reduce poverty over past decades. However, rapid industrialization since the late 1980s has relied on intensive and unsustainable exploitation of forests, fisheries, and other renewable and non-renewable natural resources.Moreover, Vietnam’s stock of natural capital has declined as mineral and non-mineral resources have been depleted. Agriculture and industry have contributed significantly to the degradation of natural capital. Vietnam’s extensive use of fertilizers largely contributes to polluting land and… [Read full story]

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