WEF warns of weak climate fight, as EU and World Bank plan loan



Increased attention on conflicted financial markets and rising political tension in 2008 could steer the world’s focus away from other more urgent matters such as climate change and food security, said the World Economic Forum. “Action to mitigate climate change, for example, may be put in danger should the global economy weaken substantially, even though many of the … decisions which will shape the future path of global climate will need to be made in the next five years,” the Geneva-based group said in its Global Risks report. The report identified four crucial issues for 2008, which were systemic financial risk, supply chain disruptions, energy, and food security.

Meanwhile, the European Union and the World Bank are drawing up plans to raise a major long-term loan to help the most impoverished countries fight climate change. According to E. U. Development Commissioner Louis Michel, richer countries would borrow the money on the international capital markets and disburse it to poorer countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help them avoid environmental damage. While the size of the fund is not yet certain, the loan is expected to involve “colossal sums”, Michel said. “I don’t agree to use existing development funds to finance the fight against climate change in the least developed countries,” Michel said. “My aim is to create a global loan with the World Bank – we are working with (World Bank President) Bob Zoellick – to help the LDCs (Least Developed Countries) fight climate change.”

Sources:
WEF warns 2008 uncertainties may hurt climate fight (Reuters)
EU, World Bank eye loan for climate change fight (Reuters)

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