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Leaked IPCC report warns of social and economic impact of climate change



A leaked draft of a new study by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reportedly outlines a worrying scenario of conflicts, food crises and economic losses caused by climate change by the end of the century.

The draft, seen by the Independent, is said to reveal that the effects of climate change will put enormous pressure on millions of people in vulnerable areas, such as some parts of Asia, causing mass migration, social unrest and huge economic losses.

The report – the second of three – will be published by the end of the month. The first report, published in September last year, said that global temperatures were likely to rise by 2C by 2100.

The next report will explore other issues related to global warming, such as the food crisis. According to the draft, average crop yields will drop by 2% by the end of the century, while global demand for food rises by 14% every year by 2050. This might fuel conflict, cause poverty and lead to mass migration, as well as causing a 2% global economic loss.

It says, “Hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding and displaced due to land loss”, especially in east and south-east Asia

Human health will also be affected by rising temperatures, which will ease the spread of diseases and increase the risk of malnutrition, especially among children.

National security is also said to be at risk, as poverty and displacement could exacerbate civil wars, inter-group violence and protests.

Meanwhile, the report adds that sites of cultural heritage in north-west Scotland and the west coast of Ireland are at risk of being lost because of climate change.

Further reading:

IPCC climate report: global temperatures likely to exceed 2C this century

Climate change may have contributed to Syrian civil war

Food supplies threatened as population growth and water shortages collide

Climate change is a more powerful force of social unrest than any protest

Global warming will put over 600 million people at risk of higher water scarcity