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Listening to views from around the world

Marianne Fay's picture

Every year, the World Development Report focuses on a different topic of global importance, and, as part of its preparatory activities, consults with various groups around the world.  The 2010 World Development Report on Development and Climate Change is no exception. This report has required unique attention to varying points of view because climate change affects different countries in drastically different ways. Over the past year, as we approached the task of putting together a report on such a significant topic, we sent our team of authors all over the world to consult with representatives from over 40 countries.  We listened to stories about how climate change is affecting them, and sought their views on our report’s evolving messages, which I described in an earlier blog post. We compiled this feedback as it was received, and have posted summaries of these consultations on our website.

Although climate change has varying regional effects, we heard some messages repeated time and again in a number of developing countries. While most of those we consulted agreed that global cooperation among both developed and developing countries is necessary, many felt that rich countries, with far greater per capita emissions, have a historical responsibility to take strong actions to cut their current emission levels.

Country representatives also expressed concern about the lack of adaptation funding relative to mitigation funding. Developing countries, which are most vulnerable to the negative consequences of climate change, must concentrate on adaptation urgently, but current available funds are skewed towards mitigation projects. Many representatives also highlighted the need for immediate action, noting the drastic cost increases brought about by delay.  As climate change accelerates, adjusting to disasters and changing weather patterns becomes considerably more difficult as well as expensive.

Besides these financial issues, all representatives seemed to agree that there is a pressing need to advance climate change education and knowledge both globally and locally.

Our consultation summaries, as I mentioned, are already online on the report’s website (http://www.worldbank.org/wdr2010). On September 15, we will also post an advance pre-press version of the complete report.