LIMA (AFP) – Andean glaciers and the region's permanently snow-covered peaks could disappear in 20 years if no measures are taken to tackle climate change, the World Bank warned Tuesday.
A World Bank-published report said rising temperatures due to global warming could also have a dramatic impact on water management in the Andean region, with serious knock-on effects for agriculture and energy generation.
According to the report, in the last 35 years Peru's glaciers have shrunk by 22 percent, leading to a 12 percent loss in the amount of fresh water reaching the coast -- home to most of the country's citizens.
"It is highly probable that the earth's surface will undergo an unprecedented temperature increase of nearly two degrees centigrade (four Fahrenheit) by 2050 and up to four degrees (eight Fahrenheit) by the end of the century," said Pablo Fajnzylber, a senior World Bank economist.
The equivalent of seven billion cubic meters of water could be lost.
In a bid to help slow the rate of warming, the World Bank has established a six-billion-dollar fund to help develop low-carbon technologies.