SEA economy more vulnerable to climate change — ADB

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A man walks through the rubble left after Typhoon Yolanda hit Palo, Leyte.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — "Southeast Asia is likely to sustain larger economic losses from climate change than most other areas in the world."

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed on Monday (December 7) that Southeast Asia's economic losses from the effects of climate change could be 60 percent higher than previously estimated, should the status quo remain. 

A recent study by the bank found that the region's gross domestic product (GDP) could potentially contract by 11 percent by the year 2100 under a "business as usual" scenario. The figure is higher than it's previous 2009 estimate of a 7 percent reduction.

The analysis focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam — the region's five largest economies "which account for 90% if the region's emissions."

Related: Officials from around the world reach climate change draft agreement

The risks come amid growing green house gas (GHG) emissions.

"The region has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years, and regional GHG emissions have rapidly increased, at nearly 5% per year over the last 2 decades," the Metro Manila-based institution said.

Without explicit policies aimed at reducing future emissions, the ADB estimated the region's GHG output to be at least 60 percent higher in 20150 compared to the actual value in 2010: "Energy sector emissions are found to be 300% higher."

Among other things, the study suggested that the region should sharply reduce the rate of deforestation, especially for Indonesia and Malaysia, "where deforestation accounts for a large share of emissions."

It also highlighted the need for investments in green infrastructure,  energy-efficient technologies, and low-carbon technologies.

"The economic costs of not reining in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are more serious than we previously estimated,” ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei said in a statement.

"At the same time, this new study also shows that reducing emissions and stabilizing the climate will produce benefits and avoid losses for Southeast Asia, which in the long run sharply outweigh the costs of action."