World Bank scales up war to cut car­bon emis­sions

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

By ME­GAN ROWL­ING

THE WORLD BANK will give equal weight to curb­ing emis­sions and help­ing poor coun­tries deal with the "dis­as­trous ef­fects" of a warm­ing world as it steps up in­vest­ments to tackle cli­mate change in the first half of the 2020s, it said on Mon­day.

The bank and its two sis­ter or­gan­i­sa­tions plan to dou­ble their in­vest­ments in cli­mate ac­tion to about $200 bil­lion from 2021-2025, with a boost in sup­port for ef­forts to adapt to higher tem­per­a­tures, wilder weather and ris­ing seas.

The lat­est fig­ures on in­ter­na­tional cli­mate fund­ing for de­vel­op­ing na­tions show barely a quar­ter has been go­ing to adap­ta­tion, with the bulk back­ing clean en­ergy adop­tion and more ef­fi­cient en­ergy use, aimed at cut­ting planet-warm­ing emis­sions.

"We live in a new nor­mal in which dis­as­ters are more se­vere and more fre­quent," World Bank CEO Kristalina Ge­orgieva said.

"We have to pri­ori­tise adap­ta­tion ev­ery­where, but es­pe­cially in the most vul­ner­a­ble parts of the world," she said, point­ing to the Horn of Africa and the Sa­hel, coastal re­gions and small is­land states.

Of the $100 bil­lion the World Bank plans to make avail­able in the five years from mid-2020, half would go to adap­ta­tion mea­sures, it said.

Those in­clude build­ing more ro­bust homes, schools and in­fra­struc­ture, pre­par­ing farm­ers for cli­mate shifts, manag­ing wa­ter wisely and pro­tect­ing peo­ple's in­comes through so­cial safety nets, Ms Ge­orgieva added.

The World Bank said the money would also im­prove weather fore­casts, and pro­vide early warn­ing and cli­mate in­for­ma­tion ser­vices for 250 mil­lion peo­ple in 30 de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

"Cli­mate change is an ex­is­ten­tial threat to the world's poor­est and most vul­ner­a­ble. These new tar­gets demon­strate how se­ri­ously we are tak­ing this is­sue," World Bank Group pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim said in a state­ment.

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