Pacific possible: long-term economic opportunities and challenges for Pacific Island Countries

Climate change will hit the Pacific harder than anywhere else on Earth and the region's tiny island nations need major international aid to deal with the challenge, the World Bank said. A World Bank report, "Pacific Possible", draws on research from numerous sources to back the long-held view of regional leaders that they are on the frontline of global warming. (It) could have more dire impacts on the Pacific islands than any other country in the world, warned the report, released at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa. The study said that even under a best-case scenario—with oceans rising 40 centimetres (16 inches) by 2100—island nations would face huge costs building seawalls to protect their coastlines. The worst-case outcome—waters up 126 centimetres by 2100—would swamp large areas of habitable land in low-lying nations such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu. There is little prospect that the high costs of building sea walls could be financed by the countries themselves, the report said. Accordingly, the international community will have to assess the trade-off between large initial expenditures on construction... versus emergency relief and recovery programmes when disasters occur.

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