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World Bank Warns Climate Change Will Affect Development, Worsen Poverty Unless Action Taken

“In fewer than 20 years, climate change impacts — from flooded major cities to crashing food production — threaten to fundamentally reshape the world economy and dramatically worsen human lives, the World Bank’s president warned on Wednesday,” Thomson Reuters Foundation reports (Goering, 6/19). “It is time to stop arguing about whether (climate change) is real or not,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said at a Thomson Reuters newsmaker event in London, according to Reuters. The news agency notes he “said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity” (Chestney, 6/19). “In sub-Saharan Africa, food shortages will become more common. … In South Asia, shifting rain patterns will leave some areas underwater and others without enough water for power generation, irrigation or drinking,” Rachel Kyte, a bank vice president for sustainable development, said, Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Morales/Rastello, 6/19).

A new World Bank report released this week details the potentially devastating effects, the Washington Post notes (Schneider, 6/18). “The bank said it was concerned that unless the world took bold action now, a disastrously warming planet threatened to put economic prosperity out of reach of millions and roll back decades of development,” Deutsche Welle writes (6/19). “The development bank is stepping up its funding for countries to adapt to the effects of climate change, and is calling for rich countries to make greater efforts at cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” The Guardian notes (Harvey, 6/19). “The World Bank doubled its investment in climate adjustment to $4.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 ending June 30 from $2.3 billion the prior year, [Kyte] said,” according to Agence France-Presse (Smith, 6/19).