Thursday, December 11, 2008

El Salvador Declared One of the Most Polluted Countries in the Region

The World Bank released a report documenting climate change yesterday that warned El Salvador of future, and more frequent, tropical storms and hurricanes. The World Bank predicts that by 2025, the amount of damages due to tropical storms and hurricanes will quadruple. The predicted damages include in increase in disaster-related illnesses, such as malaria and dengue fever, and deaths.

The World Bank gave some hope by pointing out that these climate change effects are still preventable, but El Salvador must address its grave pollution problem. The report cited El Salvador as one of the most polluted countries in the region. Researchers found that greenhouse gas emissions rose by 14% in El Salvador between 1990 and 2000, in comparison to the 0.6% increase in the rest of Central America. Gases from energy production and consumption rose by 136% in the same time period in El Salvador, in comparison to 40% in the rest of the region.

The World Bank's chief economist, Augusto de la Torre, urged municipal governments to invest in clean energy, hydroelectric energy, reforestation, more eneregy-efficient transportation systems, and fewer pollutants.

- Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

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