Lifting the world's poorest out of extreme poverty may
become impossible because of climate change, according to the
World Bank's new Turn Down the Heat report.
It looks at the consequences of warming in three
regions: the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the
Caribbean, and eastern Europe and central Asia. The World Bank says
these areas are already feeling the effects of 0.8 degrees of
warming above pre-industrial temperatures.
If warming reaches four degrees by the end of the
century, "unprecedented" heatwaves could affect the large majority
of the land area of the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America
in the coming decades. This new climate normal could
cut crop yields by up to 70 per cent while increasing
flood risks by a third in some regions and pushing up the incidence
of drought by a fifth in others.
The shocks and stresses to come could undermine
poverty reduction, push new groups into
poverty, lead to
population migrations and even increase the
risk of conflict, the report says.
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim writes in a foreword
to the report:
"Ending poverty, increasing
global prosperity and reducing global inequality, already
difficult, will be much harder with two degrees of warming, but at
four degrees there is serious doubt whether these goals can be
achieved at all."
Today, 1.2 of the world's 7 billion people live
Unfortunately the World Bank says some of the negative
impacts of climate change may now be unavoidable because the world
is "locked into" warming of close to 1.5 degrees above
pre-industrial levels. Even very ambitious attempts to limit
cannot change this.
But averting the worst projected climate impacts of a
four degrees world remains technically, economically and
politically feasible if global leaders are prepared to take tough
choices now, Kim says.
The report was prepared for the World Bank by
the Potsdam Institute for
Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, a
Potsdam-based climate NGO and follows similar reports published
We've taken a look at the 300-page report's detailed
findings for the Middle East, Latin America and Europe and central
Asia, to see what challenges and changes a climate-changed future