Turn Down the Heat

The world is on track to a 4°C temperature increase by the end of the century.

The new World Bank report Turn Down the Heat, written by researchers at the Postdam Institute for Climate Research and Climate Analytics, warns of severe climate consequences if the world is not doing more to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

With a 4°C temperature increase we are likely to see extreme heat-waves and life-threatening sea level rise.

Extreme heat waves and hotter weather is a real threat for agriculture, which could turn into lower crop yields. Today 15.4% of global cropland is drought-affected and that could increase to 44%. This raises concerns about future food security.

– A 4°C warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2°C, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Poor hit hardest
The report suggests that even if countries fulfill current emissions-reduction pledges we my go towards a 4°C temperature increase. If they are not met, a warming of 4°C could occur as early as the 2060s. As many countries are not close to fulfilling their pledges it is clear that what is needed is bold actions.

Although the whole world will be affected, it is particularly the poorer countries that will be mostly affected. It will likely undermine development efforts and goals.

– Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest, says World bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Double efforts needed
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.

– This report reinforces the reality that today’s climate volatility affects everything we do. We will redouble our efforts to build adaptive capacity and resilience, as well as find solutions to the climate challenge, says Rachel Kyte, World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development.

Double efforts from the World Bank is great, however, it also requires the private industry increase their efforts. Where the politicians fail to comply with emissions-reduction pledges the private sector has the opportunity to lead the way with sustainable business practices. Just like Google’s $75M investement into wind farms.

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