Monday, October 5, 2009

Climate change hits poor countries worst: World Bank

The developing world will suffer about 80 percent of the damage from climate change despite accounting for only around a third of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the World Bank said on Sunday.

"The damage of climate change, about 75 to 80 percent, will be suffered by developing countries although they only contribute about one third of greenhouse gases," World Bank chief economist Justin Lin told reporters.

Lin spoke in Istanbul, host city of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings this year, at the presentation of the World Bank's new development report for 2010 entitled "Development and Climate Change."

"Climate change is an urgent issue and the needs are enormous and we are waiting and hoping to see an international agreement in Copenhagen," Lin said, referring to UN-sponsored talks in December aimed at curbing global warming.

Marianne Fay, the World Bank's chief economist for sustainable development, said the costs of mitigating and adapting to climate change would add up to around 300 billion dollars (R2.3 trillion) a year from 2030.

Following the release of the World Bank report, Caroline Pearce, policy advisor to international aid agency Oxfam, said that developed countries "are leading the world into a disastrous future."

"They can sit back and watch poverty and global temperatures spiral out of control or they can reduce their emissions and can hand over significant new money to help poor people adapt to climate change," she said.