News / Africa

World Bank: Much at Stake at Climate Conference

A farmer takes water form a dried-up pond to water his vegetable field on the outskirts of Yingtan, Jiangxi province December 10, 2007. Climate change has been blamed for more frequent droughts in some regions.
A farmer takes water form a dried-up pond to water his vegetable field on the outskirts of Yingtan, Jiangxi province December 10, 2007. Climate change has been blamed for more frequent droughts in some regions.
TEXT SIZE - +
Joe DeCapua

The World Bank says tough decisions lie ahead at the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. A top bank official says nations need to decide on a long-term strategy.

Andrew Steer, the World Bank’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, says there are two big issues that will dominate the conference, known as COP 17. The first is what to do after the Kyoto Protocol expires next year. The protocol is linked to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Steer said, “The stakes are high. This is a decade when action is absolutely central and yet it’s also a decade in which obviously the economic conditions are not conducive to breakthrough, if you like.”

It’s not clear what will follow the Kyoto Protocol.

“But what really does matter,” he said, “is that Durban agrees on a process by which countries in the near future sit down and ask themselves: Are we doing enough?”

The second major issue is funding. How do you pay for climate change projects when countries are cutting spending in response to the global economic crisis?

More than 130 countries have now asked the World Bank for help in dealing with climate change.

“Climate change is already threatening development progress. Already today, we’re seeing the impacts of climate change in several of our client countries,” he said.

Africa centric

Steer said agriculture is the area most threatened by climate change, with the potential to dramatically reduce yields. At the same time, agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to rising temperatures.

“If you add the direct greenhouse gases from agriculture, which account for about 14 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions – if you add to that the impact of agriculture on deforestation, probably over 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are due to agriculture,” he said

The World Bank special envoy said South Africa and the African Union hope to make the climate conference Africa centric.

“It would mean that the psychology of Africa towards climate change could be changed with regard, for example, to energy access. Sixty-five percent of African households don’t have access to electricity. Most people might think: Well, climate change would surely slow down those 65 percent getting electricity. Our view and I think the view of the host is that actually climate change needs to accelerate those people getting electricity in their houses. Why? Because if they don’t get electricity it’ll be even worse,” he said.

Steer also said Africa is only using 10 percent of its potential for hydro power. He adds the continent has a huge potential in renewable energy resources.

The U.N. Climate Change Conference runs from November 29th through December 9th.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid