“New Climate Normal” poses severe risk to development – World Bank Report

World BankAs the planet warms further, heat-waves and other weather extremes that today occur once in hundreds of years, if ever, will become the “new climate normal,” creating a world of increased risks and instability.

The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields declined, water resources shifted, sea-levels rose, and the livelihoods of millions of people put at risk, according to a new scientific Report released on Sunday by the World Bank Group.

According to the Report,  which was made available to the Ghana News Agency by David Theis, World Bank Online Media Briefing Centre Manager, climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable because the Earth’s atmospheric system is locked into warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century.

“Even very ambitious mitigation action taken today will not change this,” it said.

“Today’s report confirms what scientists have been saying – past emissions have set an unavoidable course to warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people the most,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.

“We’re already seeing record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, and drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean becoming drier.

“These changes make it more difficult to reduce poverty and put in jeopardy the livelihoods of millions of people,” Kim said.

“They also have serious consequences for development budgets, and for institutions like the World Bank Group, where our investments, support and advice must now also build resilience and help affected populations adapt.”

The Report said: “Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes are already affecting people around the world, damaging crops and coastlines, and putting water security at risk, according to the report, Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal.”

“Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming below 2°C.”

Source: GNA

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