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  • Publication
    Turn Down the Heat : Confronting the New Climate Normal
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-11-23) World Bank Group
    This report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and parts of Europe and Central Asia. Building on earlier Turn Down the Heat reports, this new scientific analysis examines the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming above pre-industrial temperatures on agricultural production, water resources, ecosystem services, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. Data show that dramatic climate changes, heat, and weather extremes are already impacting people, damaging crops and coastlines, and putting food, water, and energy security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions are getting dryer. The poor and underprivileged, as well as the elderly and children, are found to be hit the hardest. There is growing evidence that even with very ambitious mitigation action, warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century is already locked into the Earth’s atmospheric system, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable. If the planet continues warming to 4°C, climatic conditions, heat, and other weather extremes considered highly unusual or unprecedented today would become the new climate normal—a world of increased risks and instability. The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources change, diseases move into new ranges, and sea levels rise. The task of promoting human development, ending poverty, increasing global prosperity, and reducing global inequality will be very challenging in a 2°C world, but in a 4°C world there is serious doubt whether this can be achieved at all. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the climate impacts being felt today and the unavoidable consequences of a rapidly warming world. The benefits of strong, early action on climate change -- action that follows clean, low carbon pathways and avoids locking in unsustainable growth strategies -- far outweigh the costs. Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming to below 2°C. But the time to act is now.
  • Publication
    Mauritania : Counting on Natural Wealth for a Sustainable Future
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Mele, Gianluca
    A data set of key macro-sustainability indicators, constructed after several fact-finding missions, and World Bank methodologies on estimating wealth accounting are used to study Mauritania's wealth, which is estimated to be between USD50 and USD60 billion. The country's produced wealth represents roughly 12 percent of total wealth, much less than in lower-middle-income countries; by contrast, natural wealth represents approximately 45 percent of the total figure. Renewable resources account for slightly less than two-thirds of natural wealth, with fisheries alone equaling about one-fourth of natural wealth. This is good news for Mauritania, as sound management of these resources may ensure a constant flow of resources in the future and therefore -- with adequate policies -- the achievement of the same or higher levels of welfare for future generations. On the negative side, however, the ratio of net adjusted savings over gross national income is estimated to have been negative since 2006, meaning that the wealth of the country is being depleted. Mauritania has recently joined the ranks of lower-middle-income countries, largely thanks to its considerable natural resources endowment. Over time the mining sector's contribution to gross domestic product has grown significantly and important discoveries continue to be made. The overarching objective of this wealth accounting exercise is thus to support Mauritania to measure its assets better and achieve a more complete picture of the prospects for future income, with a view to better orienting public policies toward sustainable growth and shared prosperity. The paper concludes with several indicative policy recommendations.
  • Publication
    Low Carbon Growth Country Studies--Getting Started : Experience from Six Countries
    (Washington, DC, 2009-09) World Bank
    Six emerging economies, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa, are proactively seeking to identify opportunities and related financial, technical, and policy requirements to move towards a low carbon growth path. With the help of the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the governments of these countries have initiated country-specific studies to assess their development goals and priorities, in conjunction with greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation opportunities, and examine the additional costs and benefits of lower carbon growth. Mitigation actions today are expected to reduce future expenditure on adaptation. These actions can help attract international concessional funding to co-finance programs in energy, industry, transport, and natural resource management, which have carbon reduction implications. This paper illustrates the framework and the steps to perform a comprehensive assessment of GHG mitigation options, highlighting the central importance of sustained communication with stakeholders in the study process.