The entire planet will be hurt by climate change, but a bleak new report by the World Bank says some of the poorest countries will feel its effects the most.
“No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change,” the report, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided,” says. “However, the distribution of impacts is likely to be inherently unequal and tilted against many of the world’s poorest regions, which have the least economic, institutional, scientific, and technical capacity to cope and adapt.”
The World Bank warns that temperatures on Earth could rise more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) by 2100, bringing along with them some catastrophic consequences.
The report warns that some of the most dangerous effects will be felt by poor nations in the tropical regions, who will face the greatest sea-level rise, get hit disproportionately hard by increases in cyclone intensity, and face other effects.
“Increasing aridity and drought are likely to increase substantially in many developing country regions located in tropical and subtropical areas,” the report states.
It warns of ecological harms and increased human suffering, noting that the effects of climate change will counteract benefits seen from economic growth and development initiatives.
Humans, however, have the ability to ward off this devastating scenario. As the report notes, “With action, a 4°C world can be avoided and we can likely hold warming below 2°C.”
And in his foreword, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim writes, “Our work on inclusive green growth has shown that—through more efficiency and smarter use of energy and natural resources—many opportunities exist to drastically reduce the climate impact of development, without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth.”
Kim also pledges that the World Bank will “redouble” its efforts to curb climate changing emissions. The organization has a total of $7.2 billion in climate investments funds in 48 countries around the world.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.