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“It will be the poor that suffer more than anybody else” from climate change, says John Roome, World Bank

Date
06 January 2016
“It will be the poor that suffer more than anybody else” from climate change, says John Roome, World Bank

LONDON: John Roome, Senior Director for Climate Change Group for Cross Cutting Solutions, World Bank Group, warns The Climate Group’s digital channel Climate TV that urgent emissions reductions are required globally because “it will be the poor that suffer more than anybody else” from runaway climate change.

In the video interview, John Roome explains that many countries are already moving ahead to bolster their climate resilience and slash carbon emissions, but that increasingly this work is done with a view to tackling poverty, since “climate change affects poor people more than it affects other people around the world.”

These countries also recognize that investing in climate resilience measures early on provides a “much better return than waiting and trying to respond to disasters later.”

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Focusing on how rapidly growing economies can efficiently curb emissions at the same time as reaping economic benefits, the World Bank director uses the example of how introducing smart urban transport “reduces congestion but also reduces emissions”.

Drawing on some of the World Bank’s projects including Climate Action Plan for Africa which is bringing solar power to off-grid communities around Lake Chad and the Niger River, John Roome says effective economic development work must merge climate and energy resilience in a way that improves livelihoods. Beyond this, it should also address “institutional issues, which includes things like a resilience fund in order to help countries build and develop projects in the future for climate resilience”.

The Senior Director emphasizes the importance of sending “clear signals about the cost of pollution” to the global economy too, by “widening and deepening carbon markets across the globe”. He also points out that building public-private partnerships can open up financing for both renewable energy and resilience projects, but warns such a transition will require “very focused attention by the public sector” to “de-risk investment and crowd private sector financing in.”

Concluding the Climate TV interview, John Roome reiterates that action is so urgently required to address climate change because of its more extreme impacts on people living in developing countries. But while action to reduce emissions will indeed “build resilience to protect poor communities against the impact of climate change”, he warns: “we know that if we don't do this, it will be the poor that suffer more than anybody else.”

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