Monday, September 9, 2013

The World Bank: Declining Climate Change Funding

The World Bank is a strong supporter of efforts to counter climate change. However, funding for climate-related projects has been declining sharply since peaking in 2010. The World Bank acknowledges that climate change represents a fundamental threat to economic development and the fight against poverty. The Turn Down the Heat reports explained the consequences of 4°C warming by 2100. The costs of a 4°C temperature increase will have adverse global impacts including reduced crop yields and flooding.

In its latest research the World Bank cites the example of Thailand, where flooding in 2011 resulted in losses of $45 billion or about 13 percent of GDP. Previous studies have estimated the cost of a 2°C warming in the region of 1-3 percent of global GDP.

The bank’s climate funding almost doubled between 2009 and 2010, but commitments for 2013 are likely to be the lowest since 2007. At the Copenhagen summit donor countries pledged fast-start finance of $30 billion between 2010 and 2012. This may explain a sudden decline in commitments from $5 billion in 2012 to $1.6 billion in 2013.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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