Climate Action the Only Way to End Poverty, Says World Bank Report

“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today.”

Those words weren’t uttered by a radical environmentalist or crusading climate scientists. Instead, they were spoken by new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim during a recent press call.

Kim was speaking with reporters about his agency’s latest report called “Turn Down the Heat” [PDF]. The report highlights the devastating impact of a 7.2 degree global temperature increase, which if current energy and pollution policies persist, is likely by the end of the century. Extreme heat waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise all loom on the horizon if mitigation and adaptation strategies aren’t implemented immediately. Worse, the report confirms that the world’s poorest populations are likely to suffer the worst consequences.

The report identifies severe risks related to adverse impacts on water availability, particularly in northern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. River basins like the Ganges and the Nile are particularly vulnerable. In the Amazon, forest fires could as much as double by 2050. A warmer world would also suffer more extreme heat waves, and these events too will not be evenly distributed across the world. Sub-tropical Mediterranean, northern Africa, the Middle East, and the contiguous United States are likely to see monthly summer temperatures rise by more than 11°F. The report further warns that continued warming will lead to greater ocean acidification, which could lead to stunted growth of coral reefs, and eventually, their total dissolution. Loss of coral reefs is likely to have profound consequences for people who depend on them for food, income, tourism and shoreline protection.

Combined, these events are likely to create millions of climate refugees, already distressed populations who must flee their homelands in search of water, food and employment. Developed countries already struggling to support their poor will be inundated with destitute peoples looking for a safe place to live. Strained food systems and infrastructure is likely to crumble under the pressure.

In an attempt to fend off these disaster scenarios, the World Bank doubled lending for climate change adaptation last year and plans to step up efforts to support countries’ initiatives to mitigate carbon emissions and promote inclusive green growth and climate-smart development. Among other measures, the Bank administers the $7.2 billion Climate Investment Funds now operating in 48 countries and leveraging an additional $43 billion in clean investment and climate resilience. Unfortunately, all the money in the world won’t make a difference if the apathy of those in wealthy nations remains the same.

Related Reading:

Global Food Prices Reach “Dangerous Levels” Says World Bank Report

A Partnership To Restore Our Oceans

Climate Change To Increase Hunger And Malnutrition

Image via Thinkstock


Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson5 years ago

Who listens to the world bank anymore when we clearly know their agenda is get all our money and gold.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Frans Badenhorst
Frans B5 years ago

yes, population control rather...(or those whatjamacallitthingemajicks from outer space must hurry up and come gobble up some of us....)

Winston J.
Winston J.5 years ago

Have faith in human beings. They raise to great heights. Now mankind has found a solution to energy problem by developing cheap solar panels which can compete with thermal power. USA has found a way to economically produce shale oil to meet all their needs. In the same way when the real global worming starts human beings will find a solution. Thrust mankind to solve your real problem. Human beings follow the principle "Cross the bridge when you come to the river". if it is crunch time it is time some solution will be found.

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson5 years ago

Hear, Here Sandra P.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nick a.
Nico Smart5 years ago

Susan, I'm sorry you are so clueless about the real world. Maybe you can try going to college for a real degree, not liberal farts or some other BS. Something science-based.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Google Global Thermostat and take a good look at their website. If I read them right, they are claiming that using their CO2 absorbing filters to concentrate CO2 to 15% of air and giving that to municipal waste water plus algae, and then draining the algae and making charcoal of it, they can capture and store CO2 for less than the price of the burned in producing the CO2. This amounts to the technical solution Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, was expecting to come along. The too big to fail fossil fuel firms will not like one bit being made obsolete by competition from cheap renewable energy. I hope they will settle for buying licenses for the technology and joining this major change in energy technology, instead of fighting it by trying to get it declared illegal as unfair competition to them.

Sandra P.
Sandra P5 years ago

Right, for the deniers of anthropogenic climate change here - I have a list of some real Left Wing conspirators here who claim that Global Warming is real, and getting worse faster than expected, and IS being pushed by human-generated greenhouse gases. 1.) The military/DOD -

Or if you prefer major corporations, including financial interests and insurance -

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

Population control is the only way to end world poverty. Everyone knows this except the Catholic Church.

As far as Global Warming. Its already too late. It will only get hotter and hotter, century after century, until it doesn't any more. Maybe Humans will survive, maybe not. But a couple of centuries from now, be assured the world will not be as we now recognize it, nor will our economies, if they exist, will not be what they are now.

Absolutely no doubt water(drinkable) will make gold look like brass in value comparison. This is how the world will be decreasing its excess populations.

Its always some kind of disaster, only this one is largely of our own making. The evidence for this argument is undisbuted by any meteorologist or any other scientist who seeks the truth vs. convenience of the corporations.

Isabel Araujo
Isabel Araujo5 years ago

Thank you.