World Bank sounds climate alarm

June 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- The consequences of global warming trends could trap millions of people from Asia to Africa in poverty, a World Bank report published Wednesday said.

A report prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics said vulnerable populations face a bleak future because of the prospects for higher average global temperatures.

"This new report outlines an alarming scenario for the days and years ahead [and] what we could face in our lifetime," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

A World Bank report last year warned the average global temperature could increase by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century unless drastic action was taken to combat the trend in the current era.

The report published Wednesday said 40 percent of the arable land in Sub-Saharan Africa might not be able to support agriculture because of expected floods and heat. For Southeast Asia, rising sea levels pose a threat to those who rely on coastal industries to survive.

The World Bank chief said climate issues were already having an impact on the world's poor. He pointed the finger at the world's major economic powers, saying they have a responsibility to protect underdeveloped nations from the threat of climate change.

"We can work with countries to roll back harmful fossil fuel subsidies and help put the policies in place that will eventually lead to a stable price on carbon," he said. "We are determined to work with countries to find solutions."

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