Economic, financial impact of climate change would be "significant" if no action taken ( Secretary of State) [Upd 1]

Economic, financial impact of climate change would be “significant” if no action taken ( Secretary of State) [Upd 1]

18/04/2024 18:59, TUNIS/Tunisia

Tunis, April 18 (TAP)- Findings of a study on “Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change and Adaptation Challenges: Contribution of the General Monetary and Multisectoral Macrodynamics for the Ecological Shift (GEMMES)-Tunisia”

suggest the economic and financial impact of climate change would be “significant” and “negative” if no action is taken, Secretary of State in charge of small and medium-sized enterprises Samir Abdelhafidh said on Thursday.

The study was released recently by the Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies (French: ITCEQ).

Findings of GEMMES, developed recently in partnership with the French Development Agency, showed sectoral adaptation policies require huge investments, he told a discussion panel held by the ITCEQ.

There is need today to devise an integrated adaptation strategy focused on various economic sectors with special focus on innovation, research and development, in a bid to stimulate mid and long-term productivity and growth and foster sustainable development for Tunisia.

It is likewise important to diversify public, private and foreign funding levers so as to bring needed investments forward in connection to climate change adaptation.

The economic impact of climate change in Tunisia, which heavily depends on agri-food imports , are likely to exacerbate domestic and external imbalances for lack of proactive action in climate change mitigation and adaptation, the official said.

The government, aware as it is of these risks, prioritised environmental challenges in the Development plan 2023/2025.

The conservation of the environment, environmental sustainability and the sustainable management of natural resources are among the targets of this plan. This in addition to measures to adjust to climate change with a view to securing long-term food security in Tunisia and improve living conditions.

Small and medium -sized enterprises (SMEs), the official said, remain at the heart of transformations brought about by climate change.

The national SMEs strategy – under consideration in active cooperation with all stakeholders- fits with the country’s new vision for sustainable development.

This strategy has to take into account the fact SMEs need support to handle challenges of ecological transition and tap into the opportunities it offers.

GEMMES Secretary of State in charge of Water Resources Ridha Gabouj said a new tool that helps support national plans of climate change adaptation and public decision-making through the prospective scenarios to study the impact of the phenomenon.

“If we do not prepare adequately for climate change, there will be an important economic and social cost to pay. We have to reduce our vulnerability so as to avoid financial, environmen tal and human damage,” he said.

Tunisia which has gone through six years of drought, the study shows, is the fifth most vulnerable country to drought and water deficit.

With higher rates of extraction from water resources and a low dam capacity, the water sector is the second most vulnerable after agriculture with a high vulnerability score resulting from poor adaptation capacity to climate change, reads the study.

Climate change will impact heavily on the Tunisian agricultural sector. This will result mainly in a sharp drop in exportable products, namely olives (annual production losses of 2.3% between 2022 and 2050) and dates (annual 2% drop), the study suggested.

Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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