The World Bank called for urgent action on climate change on Sunday after it released a report that examined the economic, ecological and human impacts that a 7.2°F rise in global temperature would have on the world’s population.
The report, entitled, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided,” underscored how developing nations are likely to be hit the hardest by the impacts of global warming. Food shortages, water scarcity, and coastal flooding associated with droughts, heat waves, and rising sea levels are likely to be the most severe in areas that are the least prepared to adapt to them.
The report is novel in two key ways. First, it signals a change in policy for the World Bank, a policy that places more emphasis on the relationship between poverty and climate change. Under the leadership of its new President, Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank has indicated that mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential in the fight against global poverty.
“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change,” said Kim on a press conference call on Friday, “It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today.”
(Kim also wrote an op-ed for the Guardian about the release of the World Bank report. …)
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