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La réponse de la nature au risque climatique

LONDRES – Près de la moitié de la population mondiale, soit à peu près 3,5 milliards de personnes, vit près des côtes. Alors que le changement climatique aggrave les effets des tempêtes, des inondations et de l'érosion, la vie et les moyens de subsistance de centaines de millions de ces personnes va être mise en danger. En fait, la dernière édition du Rapport d'évaluation du risque mondial du Forum Économique Mondial énumère les raisons de l'échec pour s'adapter aux effets du changement climatique et les désigne comme le plus grand risque, en termes d'impact, sur les sociétés et les économies du monde entier.

Non content de mettre des vies en danger, des tempêtes plus fréquentes et plus fortes pourraient coûter plusieurs milliards de dollars, en raison de la dégradation des infrastructures et de la perte des revenus de l'agriculture, de la pêche et du tourisme. Et comme l'a fait remarquer dernièrement le Harvard Business Review, l'estimation des coûts augmente à chaque nouvelle étude. Pourtant la communauté internationale dépense actuellement moins d'un cinquième de ce qu'elle dépense dans la réduction des risques, par rapport à ce qu'elle dépense en réponse aux catastrophes naturelles.

En matière de risque climatique, mieux vaut prévenir que guérir. Rebecca Scheurer, directrice du Centre mondial de préparation aux catastrophes de la Croix-Rouge, explique que « nous dépensons des millions de dollars après les catastrophes, mais si nous devions investir davantage de ces ressources avant qu'elles ne surviennent, nous pourrions sauver davantage de gens. C'est aussi simple que cela ! »

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