It also points to some of Kim’s emerging priorities — and some of the bank’s identified quandaries.
Major bank borrowers such as Mexico, Brazil and China have moved hundreds of millions of their citizens from poverty into the middle class, and while the bank has been involved over the years, that process has been driven by private capital and more-open trade relations with the developed world. Increasingly, bank officials feel they need to confront transnational problems — such as climate change — and face the fact that the world’s poorest may end up concentrated in a few places, particularly failed or conflict states where development is hardest and corruption is a risk to public funds.
In the world the bank is facing, “working in these countries is going to be one of our specialties,” Kim said.
Economist(Sir Nicholas Stern) warns of ‘radical’ climate change, millions at risk
2.4.2013 (Global Post)
The author of an influential 2006 study on climate change warned Tuesday that the world could be headed toward warming even more catastrophic than expected but he voiced hope for political action.
Nicholas Stern, the British former chief economist for the World Bank, said that both emissions of greenhouse gas and the effects of climate change were taking place faster than he forecast seven years ago.
Without changes to emission trends, the planet has roughly a 50 percent chance that temperatures will soar to five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in a century, he said.
“We haven’t been above five degrees Centigrade on this planet for about 30 million years. So you can see that this is radical change way outside human experience,” Stern said in an address at the International Monetary Fund.
“When we were at three degrees Centigrade three million years ago, the sea levels were about 20 some meters (65 feet) above now. On sea level rise of just two meters, probably a couple of hundred million people would have to move,” he said.
Stern said that other effects would come more quickly including the expansion of deserts and the melting of Himalayan snows that supply rivers on which up to two billion people depend.
Even if nations fulfill pledges made in 2010 at a UN-led conference in Cancun, Mexico, the world would be on track to warming of four degrees (7.2 Fahrenheit), he said.
Stern’s 2006 study, considered a landmark in raising public attention on climate change, predicted that warming would shave at least five percent of gross domestic product per year.
Despite the slow progress in international negotiations, Stern saw signs for hope as a number of countries move to put a price on greenhouse gases.
“My own view is that 2013 is the best possible year to try to work and redouble our efforts to create the political will that hitherto has been much too weak,” Stern said.
Stern said that French President Francois Hollande was keen for nations to meet their goal of sealing an accord in 2015 in Paris.
Stern also voiced hope that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, long a prominent voice on climate change, would become more active after this year’s elections.
US President Barack Obama has vowed action on climate change after an earlier bid was thwarted by lawmakers of the rival Republican Party, many of whom reject the science behind climate change.
Emissions have risen sharply in recent years from emerging economies, particularly China.
- Global economic heavyweights from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have told governments once again that urgently needed solutions to tackle climate change will also help alleviate the economic crisis. Yesterday, the figureheads from both institutional monoliths, Jim Yong Kim and Christine Lagarde, spoke out about the threat that climate change poses to financial security, economic recovery, and development. The former chief economist of the World Bank and climate guru Lord Stern also told governments that 2013 is the year to ramp up currently disappointing efforts to cut emissions and prepare societies for severe climate impacts as a means to ensure economic stability.
- As communities around the world increasingly suffer from extreme weather, Australian officials have now confirmed that the climate down under has permanently changed for the worse. A new report from the Australian Government’s Climate Commission warns the emergency services to prepare for more bushfires, flooding, and drought. It emphasises the risks to human life and the economy as productive farming has been hit particularly hard. The Queensland floods in 2010-11 cost Australia an estimated $5.2 billion alone, illustrating the financial impact of extreme weather events and economic instability that are going to increase without government action on climate change.
- It’s not only economic elites piling on the pressure, as new polling data shows there is a public mandate for risk averse political leaders to take action on climate change. New analysis from the UK and the US has revealed that the majority of people want to see their governments invest in climate change solutions alongside economic growth and treat both as priorities, recognising that a choice does not have to be made between the two. This aligns public opinion with expert advice from economic figureheads from the World Bank to the International Monetary Fund.
IMF: Governments need to end energy subsidies
By Howard Schneider,
Government subsidies of gasoline, electricity and other energy sources amount to about $1.9 trillion a year and should be ended or offset with taxes used to battle climate change and pay for social programs, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday in a major foray into the global warming debate.
The IMF study did not analyze all aspects of the energy industry — and explicitly excluded tax breaks for drilling or exploration. It also did not look at government support for the alternative energy industry, which the fund said had only a minor effect globally.