If the world moves past 2C of warming, the lives of many people in vulnerable areas of south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will be at risk by extreme weather and food shortages, according to the World Bank.
The organisation’s new report, Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, finds that poor communities living in informal settlements that lack proper drainage and public services would be heavily hit by extreme weather as sea levels rise and droughts become more likely.
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said, “The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2C – 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.”
According to the report, food shortages due to agriculture collapse would affect the areas in sub-Saharan Africa, while fluctuation of water resources would hit south and south-east Asia.
In addition, it says, without a clear mitigation strategy to tackle manmade climate change, the world might head towards an even greater warming of 4C.
“The second phase of this report truly reiterates our need to bring global attention to the tasks necessary to hold warming to 2C”, said Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s vice-president for sustainable development.
“Our ideas at the World Bank have already been put into practice as we move forward to assist those whose lives are particularly affected by extreme weather events.”
However, Kim added, “I do not believe the poor are condemned to the future scientists envision in this report. We are determined to work with countries to find solutions.”