18 April 2013

Conversation with World Bank President Jim Kim on Climate Change and Energy


This report is based on an exclusive blogger call with World Bank President Jim Kim in advance of the Bank's annual meeting.
The World Bank unveiled its plan to end extreme poverty by 2030 recently.
The rapid progress of India, China and Brazil blazed the path towards exceeding the global Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. Now the Bank wants to rid the world of extreme poverty forever.
Ending extreme poverty will require the acceleration of economic growth in developing countries and translating that growth into jobs while eliminating inequality, said World Bank President Jim Kim in a blogger call yesterday morning. Work must be done to mitigate the shocks caused by natural disasters and eliminate the insecurity linked to food, fuel and poverty, he added.
Linking all of these problems, for Kim, is climate change.
“Climate change is not just an environmental challenge. It’s a fundamental threat to economic development and the fight against poverty,” he said.
Achieving transformative change against poverty and its effects requires taking bold action against the problem of climate change, argued Kim. 130 countries requested the World Bank for assistance in climate-related work. Kim pointed to the provision of solar energy to 1.4 million Bangladeshi homes and the drought safety nets that support 7.8 million Ethiopians as examples of climate-related policies at work.
The World Bank is not the only body linking climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation. The UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report warned that inaction against climate change could reverse progress against poverty.
“The number of people in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless environmental disasters are averted by co-ordinated global action,” said the report.
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