World Bank President Urges World Economic Forum to Make Climate a Top Priority

World Bank24 January 2013: In an op-ed appearing in The Washington Post, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, underscored that climate change should be at the top of the agenda at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, warning economic leaders that continued inaction “imperils all of the development gains we have made."

Kim cited the results from a World Bank report released in November 2012, titled "Turn Down the Heat: Why A 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided," which concludes that global temperatures may rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, with worsening droughts, storms and other forms of extreme weather.

He referred to US President Barack Obama's emphasis on climate and energy action in his inaugural address, arguing that urgent action is needed outside of international conventions, in particular by the world's six big economies that together account for two-thirds of global carbon emissions.

Finally, he laid out three key strategies for low-carbon growth. First, calling for a predictable price on carbon that accurately reflects environmental cost and creates incentives for investments in energy efficiency and cleaner energy technologies. Second, urging governments to end the $500 billion in fossil-fuel subsidies and an additional $500 billion in environmentally harmful subsidies largely related to agriculture and water. Finally, he recommended further focus on urban areas, citing cities as both major sources of energy-related emissions and innovation for green growth. [World Bank Press Release]  [Turn Down the Heat] [IISD RS Story on World Bank Report "Turn Down the Heat"]