Another Worry for Eastern Europe

Jun 3, 2009 3:43pm

The former countries of the Soviet Union have been suffering under the global economic collapse for more than a year now, as the banking crisis in the Europe and the US is bringing half the continent to its knees.

Now, Eastern Europe has another problem: The region is severely suffering from climate change, according to a new report by the World Bank. The report said the effects are worsened by environmental mismanagement and the lingering ill effects of the Soviet era.

The World Bank released the report at U.N. climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany and it forecasts aren't pretty: Eastern Europe – from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic - will be hit by more frequent drought and floods, and the effects of “rising temperatures and sea levels will be heightened by unsuitable Soviet-era construction, poorly planned agriculture and shoddy infrastructure.”

Meantime, the United States may miss a December deadline for committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but that should not block an international agreement on global warming, the chief U.S. negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, said today.

Specific pledges by industrial countries to cut carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for climate change is a key element of a U.N. treaty being negotiated in Bonn by 190 nations.

–Troy McMullen

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