After more than a year of research, consultation, and writing, I’m happy to announce that we have just released a “pre-press” version of our report: World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change. While the printed books won’t be ready until the end of October, the advance files (subject to correction and change) are now available on our website, so please feel free to download them and let us know what you think via comments on this blog!
The report, which is the latest in the World Bank’s long-running series on development, emphasizes that developing countries are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. In fact, they face 75 to 80 percent of the potential damage from climate change. The latest and best scientific evidence tells us that at global warming of more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures—an increase that will be extremely difficult to avoid—more than a billion people could face water scarcity, 15 to 30 percent of species worldwide could be doomed to extinction, and hunger will rise, particularly in tropical countries. So it’s overwhelmingly clear that developing countries need help to cope with these potential impacts, even as they strive to reduce poverty faster and deliver access to energy and water for all.
But there’s good news too. The main message of the report is that a “climate-smart” world is possible if we act now, act together, and act differently. Act now, because what we do today shapes the climate of tomorrow and the options available to future generations. The cost of delay or inaction is too high. Act together, with rich countries taking the lead to reduce their carbon footprints and to help developing countries with the funding and technology they need both for adaptation to climate change as well as for low-carbon growth in future. Act differently, by transforming energy systems, managing land and water sustainably, protecting forests and biodiversity, and designing policies that take into account new information about climate change.
Do take a look at the web package that’s now up on our multilingual website. It includes a global press release, the full advance text of the report, a short web feature , and a wide range of multimedia including video clips with the authors and a series of “Climate Thinkers” video vignettes. Some materials are already translated and available in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish.
We have press briefings today in Washington DC and in Nairobi. Materials from these events will be posted once they become available.