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APEC: Asia-Pacific most affected by climate change
Updated: 2009-11-08 20:04

SINGAPORE: The Asia-Pacific region has become the largest victim of climate change as roughly 70 percent of the natural disasters, believed to be caused by global warming, struck this region, a regional forum report said Sunday.

Climate change is believed to contribute to the increasing number of natural disasters, with developing nations experiencing the most adverse effects, the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) said in a report released here at the opening of the forum's annual Leaders' Meetings. But it did not give the timeframe in which it conducted the research.

The report said increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters has created challenges for disaster response in the region and can be a severe economic pressure. Last month, four back-to-back storms hit the Philippine archipelago, killing around 1,000 people and causing economic loss amounting to 38.8 billion pesos (US$817 million), according to the latest government statistics.

The APEC, formed in 1989, groups 21 economies including China, the United States, Japan, Canada and most of the Southeast Asia.

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APEC leaders are widely expected to call for further cuts in energy consumption amongst themselves at this year's summit. In 2007, APEC leaders proposed a regional goal to reduce energy intensity by at least 25 percent by 2030.

The Secretariat said APEC economies account for approximately 60 percent of the world energy consumption, which is expected to continue to rise as the region becomes increasingly industrialized and more people move from the countryside to cities.