Global warming could exact a devastating toll on the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, with costs possibly exceeding $100 billion by 2050, the Inter-American Development Bank warned Tuesday.
In a new report, the Washington-based organization also called for "forceful" reductions in greenhouse gases to forestall some of the worst consequences of climate change.
The bank urged countries in the region to dramatically increase their efforts to prevent climate change and mitigate its negative impacts, including drought, diminishing agricultural yields, vanishing glaciers and raging floods.
"Many climate-related changes are irreversible and will continue to impact the region over the long term," Walter Vergara, the bank's Division Chief of Climate Change and Sustainability and the lead researcher of the study, said in a statement.
"To prevent further damages, adaptation is necessary but not enough. Bolder actions are needed to bend the emissions curve in the coming decades," he said.
The report -- issued by the bank, the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) -- is to be formally unveiled later this month at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
The gathering in Rio de Janeiro of more than 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants from governments, the private sector and NGOs will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 "Earth Summit" in the Brazilian city.
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