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Global Warming will Affect Poor Countries the Most: World Bank Says

Jun 19, 2013 10:26 AM EDT

The World Bank Group says that global warming will lead to a major food-crisis in the future. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are expected to be the worst-hit.

Global warming is expected to cause major changes in climate- from causing drought in some regions to causing severe storms in others. Places such as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are considered to be "hot-spots" for the climate change as these places will be badly affected by sea-level rise and severe tropical storms. Low-lying countries such as Kiribati are already sinking due to climate change and rising population.

The latest report is called Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extreme, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience and builds on the Bank's last report on global warming. According to the report, the world is likely to get warmer by 4 degrees Celsius (4°C or 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.


The reports showed that by 2030, about 40 percent of land currently used for agriculture, would be unable to yield any crop due to drought. By 2050, the number of under-nourished people in this region is expected to rise by 25-90 percent, compared to the current population.

A similar climate change could affect Southeast Asia too with countries such as India and Pakistan getting inconsistent amount of rainfall during monsoon. Currently, an early and abnormally high rainfall in parts of India has caused 73 deaths and left thousands homeless.

Last year, Lord Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist and author of the landmark Stern had told The Guardian that poor countries such as India and China need to have greater emission cuts because they have had the highest greenhouse gas emission in past two decades. The developing countries, on the other hand, have long insisted that already industrialized nations, like the U.S. had a greater role to play in raising the levels of greenhouse gases over the years.

"This new report outlines an alarming scenario for the days and years ahead - what we could face in our lifetime. The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C -- warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years -- that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones. In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth's temperature," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in a news release


Kim added that urgent action is not only needed in reducing greenhouse gases, but also helping poor countries face the consequences of global warming.

According to the report, most of the damages of climate change could be reduced by keeping global warming below 2°C this century.

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