World Bank: Tackle warming or poverty remains
Climate change will hit all nations, but especially the poor ones, says new World Bank report. Warming could flood Vietnam and Bangladesh, dry out other areas, causing water scarcity.
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Kim said the World Bank plans to further meld climate change with development in its programs.Skip to next paragraph
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Last year, the Bank doubled its funding for countries seeking to adapt to climate change, and now operates $7.2 billion in climate investment funds in 48 countries.
The World Bank study comes as almost 200 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of the year.
They have been trying off and on since Kyoto was agreed in 1997 to widen limits on emissions but have been unable to find a formula acceptable to both rich and poor nations.
Emerging countries like China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, have said the main responsibility to cut emissions lies with developed nations, which had a headstart in sparking global warming.
Combating climate change also poses a challenge for the poverty-fighting World Bank: how to balance global warming with immediate energy needs in poor countries.
In 2010, the World Bank approved a $3.75 billion loan to develop a coal-fired power plant in South Africa despite lack of support from the United States, Netherlands and Britain due to environmental concerns.
"There really is no alternative to urgent action given the devastating consequences of climate change," global development group Oxfam said in a statement. "Now the question for the World Bank is how it will ensure that all of its investments respond to the imperatives of the report."
Kim said the World Bank tries to avoid investing in coal unless there are no other options.
"But at the same time, we are the group of last resort in finding needed energy in countries that are desperately in search of it," he said.