UN official warns of climate change's human costs

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 5:16 PM

The U.N.'s Emergency Relief Coordinator says the effects of climate change are already being felt across the developing world and he hopes much of the money devoted to the problem will go toward helping it adapt.

John Holmes said Thursday that regardless of what is decided at the climate conference in Copenhagen, the effects, including more intense rains and longer droughts, will be with us for at least 50 years.

He said changing weather patterns threaten food security, with the amount of land irrigated by rainfall likely to be "halved" in the coming years. They also threaten public health, increasing the spread of diseases like malaria and dengue.

Delegates in Copenhagen are expected to discuss the humanitarian impact of climate change on Dec. 15.

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