Tag: world bank

Local tourism, Dar es Salaam port under threat from rising seas

Tanzania’s two major sources of income - tourism and trade - could be hit hard by climate change, according to a new report released by the World Bank today. 
The report, Turn Down the Heat - Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience - takes an in depth look at what climate change means for Sub Saharan Africa. It compares the impacts on the region if warming continues at its current rate with impacts if governments successfully limit average global temperature rise to 2° Celsius.
While not removing the risk altogether, if temperature rise is kept under 2 degrees Celsius, and comprehensive plans to adapt communities to climate change are put in place, many of the worst impacts can be avoided.
However, even at 2°C, the sea could rise 70cm in Tanzania by the later third of this century, wreaking havoc with the port infrastructure at Dar es Salaam. The port, which serves not only Tanzania but its landlocked neighbors such as Uganda, Congo DRC, handles 95 per cent of the country’s international trade and is responsible for more than 10 per cent of the city’s GDP.
Also threatened by sea level rise, together with an expected increase in flooding and extreme weather events like cyclones, are Tanzania and Kenya’s coastal tourism infrastructure such as hotels and resorts - another key source of income for the region. 
According to the World Bank, most coastal areas have already reported an increase in yearly damage from tropical storms and floods. Additionally, Coral Reefs in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean are particularly vulnerable to bleaching - another drain on tourism income.
The jewel in Tanzania’s crown, Mt Kilimanjaro, is also expected to lose tourists as the mountain’s glacier continues to disappear as a result of the rapidly warming world. 
Across Sub Saharan Africa, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth could potentially slump in the region as crop yields drop and water access problems are exacerbated, Sixbert Mwanga, of Climate Action Network Tanzania, said.
“This report highlights the threat the climate change poses to the hard won gains in development we have made in this region in recent years,” Mwanga said. 
“Africa needs support from the international community to adopt a low carbon approach to development that is compatible with meeting the human rights and needs of its growing population.”
Climate change of 2°C will lead to worse health for many people across Sub Saharan Africa. An increase in undernourishment, childhood stunting, malaria and other diseases could impact the ability of children to receive an education.
Climate Action Network is calling on Tanzanian government to map a socio-economic transition plan to a low-carbon economy and community. “The government needs to secure a climate-resilient future for the people of Tanzania.”  
About CAN
Climate Action Network Tanzania (CAN-Tanzania) is a national network of over 65 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact: Sixbert Mwanga, Coordinator CAN Tanzania 
Phone: +255717313660 

Climate change threatening South Asian development: World Bank

Climate change will overturn hard won gains in reducing poverty in South Asia as changing weather patterns make accessing water and food resources even more difficult, according to a new report released by the World Bank today. 
Extreme weather such as heat waves, devastating floods and droughts, and more intense tropical cyclones will hit the region with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan bearing the brunt of the climate impacts, according to new research. 
What the Report says about life in South Asia at 4C:
India: Devastating floods like the 2005 deluge in Mumbai which killed 500 and caused USD 1.7 billion in damage will be become twice as likely in the region. Dry areas will get drier and wet areas wetter. 
Bangladesh: Potentially the most vulnerable country in the region, with an increase in cyclones, extreme flooding and higher than average sea level rise all impacting  Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries of the world. The impacts of extreme flooding are expected to be at their worst at just 2.5C of warming. The salinisation of water and heat waves will lead to a reduction in crop yields, as well as the availability of drinking water, impacting the health and wealth of the population. 
Sri Lanka: Most vulnerable to unprecedented heat waves and coastal erosion which can impact tourism.
Maldives:   The islands are famously vulnerable to sea level rise - with 115cm expected by the end of the century.  This can be reduced to 80cm if temperature rise is kept under 2C. 
Pakistan: Most vulnerable to drought and extreme heat waves - if the world warms by an average of 4C, Pakistan’s average temperature will rise 6C. Also, flash flooding in the Indus Delta. 
Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia said the report highlights the threat that climate change poses to the hard won gains in development made in this region in recent years. 
“South Asia needs support from the international community to adapt towards a low carbon approach to development that is compatible with meeting the human rights and needs of its growing population,” said Hina Lotia from LEAD Pakistan.
The report, Turn down the Heat - Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience - takes an in-depth look at what climate change means for South Asia. The report warns that even climate change of 2ºC will pose a “significant challenge to development” in the region.
“South Asia will require comprehensive plans to adapt communities to climate change with investments in infrastructure, flood defenses, and drought resistant crops are necessary,” said Ziaul Mukta from Oxfam GB 
He warned that if warming increased by 4ºC on average, rainfall patterns will be affected. Overall, dry areas like Northwestern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan - currently a major food producing area like Punjab in Pakistan and India, Tarai belt in Nepal and Northern parts of Bangladesh for the sub continent - will get dryer resulting in reduced crop production. While wet areas, like Southern India and parts of Bangladesh, will get wetter, leading to flooding and an increase in diseases.
Not only will climate change affect the provision of safe drinking water and water for agricultural irrigation, access to energy could become even more difficult as less water is available to run hydropower stations and cool other existing electricity stations. Only 62 per cent of the region’s population currently has access to electricity.
Heat waves will disproportionately impact the elderly and the urban poor. Events like the heat-wave in Andhra Pradesh, India, in May 2002 which caused 1,000 deaths in a single week as the mercury hit 51ºC will become much more common.
Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) is calling on South Asian governments to collaborate of initiating joint monitoring of the impacts and undertake joint actions to address the climate induced disasters. Since the sub-continent nations are dependent on shared natural resource ecosystems, much can be achieved through ‘Regional Cooperation’ among neighboring stakeholders.
About CAN
Climate Action Network – South Asia (CANSA) is a platform of 103 organisations across South Asia geared to redress policy divides and insufficient systematic scientific evidence & collective action. CANSA endeavors to compose policy solutions to bridge the gap between policies and practice among policy makers and civil society, and more importantly between the civil society organisations. In order to achieve this objective, CANSA envisages empowering through the improving knowledge and instilling skills for policy advocacy through platforms on experiential knowledge exchange in each country and among South Asian CSO partners, to frame common understanding on Climate Action. It is a regional node of Climate Action Network International (CANI) which a global network of over 850 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Ms. Vositha Wijenayake
Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator
Climate Action Network South Asia

Charting a new course on shipping emissions

Panama could not be a more fitting place to reboot the negotiations on controlling the high and rising emissions from international shipping. Last month’s G20 finance ministers’ discussions on raising climate finance from international transport suggest there is a huge opportunity to do so.

The magnificent sight of the Panama canal is a reminder of the scale of emissions from the international maritime fleet. Shipping is already responsible for 3% of global emissions – more than those of Germany, and twice those of Australia. Without urgent action, emissions could triple by 2050, likely ruining any chance of keeping global warming below the 2°C target agreed in Cancun, let alone the 1.5C target needed. Tackling the emissions from this sector is a vital part of the efforts needed to close the emissions gap.

A step in the right direction was taken this June when governments in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) established energy efficiency design standards for new ships. But welcome though this was, it will only reduce shipping emissions by around 1% below business-as-usual levels by 2020.

It is clear that weak efficiency standards alone are not enough. A carbon price for shipping is needed to drive emission cuts at the scale needed – applied either through a bunker fuel levy or the auctioning of emissions allowances in a new sectoral emissions trading scheme.

As the preliminary report of the World Bank and IMF shows, a carbon price of $25 per tonne would raise the cost of global trade by approximately 0.2% - or $2 for every $1000 traded – and would raise $26 billion per year by 2020. The report suggests that to make a global agreement stick, this revenue should be used to compensate developing countries for the economic impact of higher shipping costs – ensuring they face no net incidence as a result – and as climate finance.

Even after some revenues are used as compensation, this should still leave at least $10 billion per year to be directed to the Green Climate Fund. That would be a significant step towards the $100 billion per year that developed countries have promised to mobilise by 2020, which – unlike Fast Start Finance pledged to date – should be genuinely new and additional to existing promises of development assistance.

The World Bank and IMF report shows the way to a new approach to tackling shipping emissions which Parties meeting in Panama must seize. Building on the work in the G20, a decision in Durban on the key principles of this approach would give the IMO all the guidance needed to get to work on designing and implementing a scheme that delivers a double dividend for the climate. By helping to close the emissions gap, and fill the Green Climate Fund, such a deal on could be a flagship of success in Durban.

World Bank to Coal: ‘I Just Can’t Quit You!’

As the World Bank Group positions itself to play a central role in delivering climate finance, the incoherence in its lending practices scream out for attention.
Despite increasing its renewable energy lending, the institution spent more on coal in 2010 than renewable energy and energy efficiency combined. The Bank’s continued commitment to coal – the most energy intensive and destructive fuel source on the planet – is a black mark on its record that no amount of rosy public relations spin can scrub off.   
If the World Bank believes it can credibly deliver climate finance,  it must make a strong and credible commitment to clean up its act. And now it has the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that by revising its Energy Strategy to phase out fossil fuels, ensure energy access for the poor, and guarantee that all large scale hydropower lending meets stringent requirements.
A strong strategy guiding its energy investments for years to come will send an important signal that the Bank is serious about delivering on its commitment to climate finance.
Without a strong energy strategy however, it is clear that the Bank should not serve even a trustee role in future climate finance. Beneath its glossy brochures and hearty speeches, a large portion of its energy sector lending is going to destructive coal projects. The world is changing rapidly and the Bank is not keeping up. If it genuinely wants to help build the 21st century clean energy economy, it must heal the wounds it has inflicted in the past.
And the World Bank can make the strongest statement of all by quitting coal for good.

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Baby Steps on Finance

The US proposal on financial architecture has received considerable interest over the last few days, and with good reason. It is an interesting mix of new and old, good and bad, promising and perverse.

ECO can see movement in two respects.

First, after consistently resisting calls for a new institution, the US has now endorsed the creation of a new fund.

Second, as Article 11 requires, the US has agreed that the fund should be under the guidance of and accountable to the COP; that the COP should determine its policies and priorities; and that it should have balanced and equitable representation of all Parties.

The more cynical among ECO readers may wonder whether restating the provisions of the Convention really counts as progress. But we will take movement wherever we can find it. After all, in the quest for a useful negotiating text, we could do a lot worse than the Convention itself.

It now appears that we have a broader basis for agreement on parts of some critical issues of financial architecture and
governance (we are assuming, of course, that the silence of some other umbrella Parties and the EU can be taken as assent). And it would appear that the US has heard the concerns of developing countries regarding simpler administrative procedures and, perhaps, on direct access to financing.

The proposal may also provide a basis for a deal on another contentious issue – the use of existing institutions. Many Parties have expressed their bitter experience and deep frustration with the procedures and governance of multilateral development banks. And while ECO is not a Party, we cannot see giving a policy-making role to an institution like the World Bank. Its own senior sustainable development economist recently called the Bank’s continued support for coal a moral imperative. Another contentious issue is a reaffirmation and expansion of the role of the GEF, which may provide additional fodder for developing countries to resist this proposal.

But we understand that the US may wish to use existing institutions only for fiduciary oversight and auditing functions, leaving the substantive work to the new mechanism and its technical panels. If this is indeed the US position, they should say so clearly. Nobody wants to see this money squandered, so the need for strong fiduciary oversight should attract broad support.

Unfortunately, the US proposal brings us no closer to agreement on a number of other key issues. All countries except LDCs will be expected to contribute, and there are no guarantees that the funds that are made available will be new and additional to existing ODA.  And assessed contributions are off the table. Instead, the fund is to be replenished on a voluntary basis. Periodic pledge parties, rather than a common understanding of historic responsibility and capacity, will determine contributions. This ECO is told will maximise contributions and provide predictability.

Other issues remain to be resolved. Key among these are the specific makeup of the board, how it will be appointed, and whether there will be separate thematic windows.  But for the US, these issues can be negotiated. The key point is that it provides sufficient fiduciary assurances that donors will put money into it.

Of course, fiduciary oversight is only an issue if there is actually money to safeguard. Now let us see some movement on scale. ECO has previously stated that US$150 billion of public financing is required to deal with climate change in developing countries.

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