Climate will hit all nations - World Bank

2012-11-19 14:15
All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, the World Bank has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, the World Bank has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a report on climate change.

Under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development.

"We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today," Kim told reporters on a conference call on Friday.

The report, called Turn Down the Heat, highlights the devastating impact of a world hotter by 4°C by the end of the century, a likely scenario under current policies, according to the report.

Climate change is already having an effect: Arctic sea ice reached a record minimum in September, and extreme heat waves and drought in the last decade have hit places like the US and Russia more often than would be expected from historical records, the report said.

Hunger

Such extreme weather is likely to become the "new normal" if the temperature rises by 4°, according to the World Bank report. This is likely to happen if not all countries comply with pledges they have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even assuming full compliance, the world will warm by more than 3° by 2100.

In this hotter climate, the level of the sea would rise by up to 1m, flooding cities in places like Vietnam and Bangladesh. Water scarcity and falling crop yields would exacerbate hunger and poverty.

Extreme heat waves would devastate broad swaths of the earth's land, from the Middle East to the US, the report says. The warmest July in the Mediterranean could be 9° hotter than it is today - akin to temperatures seen in the Libyan desert.

The combined effect of all these changes could be even worse, with unpredictable effects that people may not be able to adapt to, said John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, which along with Climate Analytics prepared the report for the World Bank.

"If you look at all these things together, like organs cooperating in a human body, you can think about acceleration of this dilemma," said Schellnhuber, who studied chaos theory as a physicist. "The picture reads that this is not where we want the world to go."

As the first scientist to head the World Bank, Kim has pointed to "unequivocal" scientific evidence for man-made climate change to urge countries to do more.

Kim said 97% of scientists agree on the reality of climate change.

"It is my hope that this report shocks us into action," Kim, writes in the report.

Emissions

Scientists are convinced that global warming in the past century is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

These findings by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were recognised by the national science academies of all major industrialised nations in a joint statement in 2010.

Kim said the World Bank plans to further meld climate change with development in its programmes.

In 2011, the Bank doubled its funding for countries seeking to adapt to climate change, and now operates $7.2bn in climate investment funds in 48 countries.

The World Bank study comes as almost 200 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar, from 26 November to 7 December to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of the year.

They have been trying off and on since Kyoto was agreed in 1997 to widen limits on emissions but have been unable to find a formula acceptable to both rich and poor nations.

Emerging countries like China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, have said the main responsibility to cut emissions lies with developed nations, which had a head start in sparking global warming.

Energy needs

Combating climate change also poses a challenge for the poverty-fighting World Bank: How to balance global warming with immediate energy needs in poor countries.

In 2010, the World Bank approved a $3.75bn loan to develop a coal-fired power plant in SA despite lack of support from the US, Netherlands and Britain due to environmental concerns.

"There really is no alternative to urgent action given the devastating consequences of climate change," global development group Oxfam said in a statement. "Now the question for the World Bank is how it will ensure that all of its investments respond to the imperatives of the report."

Kim said the World Bank tries to avoid investing in coal unless there are no other options.

"But at the same time, we are the group of last resort in finding needed energy in countries that are desperately in search of it," he said.
Read more on:    world bank  |  climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.