Climate change is the biggest environmental threat faced by South Asia and may well be the biggest humanitarian and economic challenge that the developing world will have to face in the coming decades. While the world has woken up to the threat of climate change, the true enormity of what this implies is still sinking in. Governments are yet to face up to the extraordinary social and economic problems in the future, not to mention environmental impacts that unchecked global warming would generate.
The study shows that if global temperatures rise by about 4-5°C in the course of the century, as they are projected to under business-as-usual growth in greenhouse gas emissions, the South Asian region could face a wave of migrants displaced by the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and drought associated with shrinking water supplies and monsoon variability. In the three South Asian countries sharing a coast line - Bangladesh, Pakistan and India - nearly 130 million people currently live in what is known as the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ), which comprises the coastal region that is less than 10 metres above average sea level.