By Ronald Musoke
Continued foot-dragging by the world’s governments to reach a new and concrete Climate Change deal is not only setting the entire world on course to a warmer world but the consequences will be calamitous says a new World Bank report.
The report, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C World Must be Avoided,” released Nov 19 delivers a clear-eyed assessment that continued inaction by the world’s governments is putting the planet on a path that will see the world become four degrees warmer.
The report says a world warmer by 4°C will be devastating with coastal cities getting inundated by the rise in sea level, increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates while many dry regions will become dryer. The report also notes that wet regions will get wetter; and many regions will face unprecedented heat waves, especially the tropics.
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said he hopes the new report “shocks us into action.”
“Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency.”
But Carroll Muffett, the president of the Center for International Environmental Law, a Washington-based international environmental NGO that provides legal counsel and advocacy in the areas of human rights and the environment, climate change, law and communities, chemicals, trade and the environment, international environmental governance, and biodiversity noted that the report
underscores the urgency of immediate action to reverse the growth in global greenhouse gas emissions if humankind is to have any hope of avoiding the most devastating impacts of climate change.
“The Bank’s report throws a stark light on the catastrophic trajectory we’re currently on, and serves as yet another in a long line of wake up calls for governments to urgently begin reducing greenhouse emissions. It is a clarion call for an urgent and dramatic paradigm shift in how we produce and use energy,” he said.
However, Muffett turned the heat on the World Bank itself, wondering if the report will shock the Bank itself into action
“Will the Bank hear its own urgent message? Or will it continue investing in fossil fuels in a way that undercuts that sense of urgency and locks more emerging economies into emission-intensive development pathways?”
“The Bank should make those changes now, beginning with a simple, clear and unambiguous commitment to end its own investment in dirty fuels,” he said.