The World Bank’s latest report on climate change, “Turn Down the Heat,” warns that the planet is on track for a four-degree Celsius temperature rise by 2100. Like many scientists, the bank fears that such an increase would be incompatible with civilization as we know it. At the very least, rapid global warming—and the storms, droughts and other extreme weather it would unleash—would render the bank’s mission of alleviating poverty and fostering sustainable development impossible.
“This report is a stark reminder that climate change affects everything,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim writes in the forward to the report, which was authored by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “The solutions lie in ensuring all our work, all our thinking, is designed with the threat of a 4°C degree world in mind. The World Bank Group will step up to the challenge.”
So far, so good. But how exactly will the World Bank “step up?” The answer, shockingly, is nowhere to be found in this report, and a review of the Bank’s history on climate issues raises many red flags.