The poverty can’t be tackled if answer to the climate change not found, said the World Bank.
Washington | November 19, 2012
The World Bank has warned that global temperatures could rise by four degrees this century without immediate action, with potentially devastating consequences for coastal cities and the poor.
Issuing a call for action, the World Bank tied the future wealth of the planet — and especially developing regions — to immediate efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as energy production.
“The time is very, very short. The world has to tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said on a conference call as he launched a report conducted for the global lender.
“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today.”
The study said the planet could warm 4.0 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels as early as the 2060s if Governments’ promises to fight climate change are not met.
Even if nations fulfil current pledges, the study gave a 20 per cent likelihood of a four-degree rise by 2100 and said a three-degree rise appeared likely. The UN-led climate negotiations have vowed to limit the rise of temperatures to no more than two degrees.
“A four-degree warmer world can and must be avoided. We need to hold warming below two degrees,” Kim said. “Lack of ambitious action on climate change threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions and roll back decades of development.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the study showed the need to hold nations to their commitment, made last year in Durban, South Africa, to put in place a legally binding new climate agreement by 2015.
The more than 190 nations in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change start their latest annual talks on November 26 in Qatar.
Global temperatures have already risen about 0.8 degrees Celsius. The planet has charted a slew of record-breaking temperatures over the past decade and experienced frequent disasters some experts blame on climate change, most recently superstorm Sandy, which ravaged Haiti and the US East Coast.
The report said if temperatures rise by four degrees, regions will feel different effects — recent heatwaves in Russia could become an annual norm and July in the Mediterranean could be nine degrees higher than the area’s warmest level now.
Under that scenario, the acidity of the oceans could rise at a rate unprecedented in world history, threatening coral reefs that protect shorelines and provide a habitat for fish species.
Key findings include:
• Extreme heat waves, that without global warming would be expected to occur once in several hundred years, will be experienced during almost all summer months in many regions. The effects would not be evenly distributed. The largest warming would be exptected to occur over land and range from 4° C to 10° C. Increases of 6° C or more in average monthly summer temperatures would be expected in the Mediterranean, North Africa, Middle East and parts of the United States.
• Sea level-rise by 0.5 to 1 meter by 2100 is likely, with higher levels also possible. Some of the most highly vulnerable cities are located in Mozambique, Madagascar, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
• The most vulnerable regions are in the tropics, sub-tropics and towards the poles, where multiple impacts are likely to come together.
• Agriculture, water resources, human health, biodiversity and ecosystem services are likely to be severely impacted. This could lead to large-scale displacement of populations and consequences for human security and economic and trade systems.
• Many small islands may not be able to sustain their populations.
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