Dr Jim Yong Kim used the following opening words in a report published this month: It is my hope that this report shocks us into action. Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency. The report: Turn Down the Heat – Why a 4 degree warmer world must be avoided – was produced for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.
This report provides a snapshot of recent scientific literature and new analyses of likely impacts and risks that would be associated with a 4° Celsius warming. It warns that, without serious policy changes, this is the degree of warming scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century. The scenarios, well covered in the executive summary, are devastating.
While the report’s focus is on developing countries, the point is made that developed countries are also vulnerable and at serious risk. The following statements from the summary: “No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change…there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible”, leave no doubt as to the need for urgent action.
Although the report makes clear that warming of 4°C can still be avoided, it also states the ultimate outcome will be a result of “… government, private sector, and civil society decisions and choices, including, unfortunately, inaction”. The Executive Summary gives a good synopsis of the report’s findings and, if you have not already done so, I encourage you to take the few minutes required to read it.
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