World Bank High­lights Cli­mate-Poverty Link

Southasia - - COVER STORY -

The World Bank says it will in­creas­ingly view its ef­forts to help de­vel­op­ing coun­tries fight poverty through a “cli­mate lens.” The in­ter­na­tional lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion warned that heat waves, ris­ing seas, more se­vere storms and other im­pacts of cli­mate change will trap mil­lions of peo­ple in poverty. As a re­sult, the Wash­ing­ton-based bank said it is step­ping up support for ef- forts to curb cli­mate change and to help the world adapt to it. “Ur­gent ac­tion is needed to not only re­duce green­house gas emis­sions, but also to help coun­tries pre­pare for a world of dra­matic cli­mate change and weather ex­tremes,” World Bank Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim said in a state­ment. Al­ready by the 2030s, 40 per­cent of the land used to grow maize in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa will be un­able to sus­tain that crop be­cause of droughts and heat, a World Bank re­port said. Also by that me, sea level rise cou­pled with more in­tense cy­clones could in­un­date much of Thai­land’s cap­i­tal, Bangkok, it said. “At the World Bank Group, we are con­cerned that un­less the world takes bold ac­tion now, a dis­as­trously warm­ing planet threat­ens to put pros­per­ity out of reach of mil­lions and roll back decades of de­vel­op­ment,” Kim said. World Bank Vice Pres­i­dent Rachel Kyte said the World Bank dou­bled its lend­ing aimed at adapta-tion ef­forts to $4.6 bil­lion in 2012. She said that money was sep­a­rate from the adap­ta­tion funds trans­ferred from rich to poor coun­tries in U.N. cli­mate talks. The de­vel­oped coun­tries have pledged to ramp that fi­nanc­ing up to $100 bil­lion an­nu­ally by 2020.

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