Jim Yong Kim, the new head of the World Bank, has outlined the development fund's new focus. "We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today." Kim was speaking at the launch of the organization's new report Turn Down The Heat [PDF], which states that it is the world's poor who will suffer if the global temperature rises.
The study, which comes a week after the release of a CIA-commissioned report on the same subject, warns of parts of Asia suffering flooding and food shortages, and heat waves similar to the one in Russia in 2010. By the end of the 21st century, Mediterranean countries could be seeing temperatures in July increase by 9 degrees. The blame is being pointed at the increase in greenhouse gases, caused mainly by burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
Although the world has pledged to reduce emissions by 2%, the report fears that efforts will need to be doubled to around 4% to make any difference. And so the news this morning that a planned solar power plant in North Africa is close to hitting the buffers makes for grim reading. The idea behind Desertec was to construct a huge solar farm in the Sahara desert and then pipe the energy to Europe via undersea pipes. Two of the project's partners, Siemens and Bosch, have pulled out, and the Spanish government, one of the signatories of the scheme, has not yet put pen to paper, saying it could not find the money needed.