More than 40 poor countries are still mired in an economic downturn and are struggling to finance key needs like health and education despite signs of economic recovery in other industrial and emerging nations, the World Bank said in a report on Sept. 16. "The nascent global economic recovery and improving financial market conditions have yet to provide the impetus needed to lift the economies of low-income countries from their deep economic downturn and dire financing challenge," the World Bank said in a report before a Group of 20 leaders' summit in Pittsburgh next week.

Confidence in the world economy held at a record high in September after reports suggested the recession is over and officials said they won't rush to withdraw stimulus, a Bloomberg survey of users on six continents showed. The Bloomberg Professional Confidence Index Global Economy rose to 58.54 this month from 58.12 in August. The index exceeded 50 for a second month, which means optimists outnumbered pessimists. Measures of confidence in France and Germany surged after their economies unexpectedly returned to growth last quarter. The world is emerging from the deepest recession since the 1930s after more than USD 2 trillion of infrastructure projects, tax breaks and government spending, and interest rates near zero averted a spiral into another Great Depression. The pace of the rebound may be tempered by rising unemployment.

Banks, pension funds and other investment groups representing more than USD 13 trillion in assets called for a strong global agreement on climate policy on Sept. 16, saying it would lead to a flood of investment into the low-carbon economy."Without the policies to encourage clean energy, investors are stuck at the starting gates," Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists, and the director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk. More than 180 investor groups called for a global target of emissions reductions of 50 to 85 percent by 2050, including higher cuts by wealthy countries, and plans in developing countries to make measurable emissions reduction.

Climate Exchange Plc, owner of emissions markets in London and Chicago, said its first-half loss narrowed as average daily volumes on its European Climate Exchange more than doubled. Traded volumes on its London exchange, the world's biggest for greenhouse-gas allowances, climbed to 2.69 billion metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent in the first half, up from 1.07 billion tons a year earlier. European revenue rose to 11.4 million pounds from 4.2 million pounds, Bloomberg reported the Climate Exchange said. "Growth in the first half has been pretty outstanding," CEO Neil Eckert said in a telephone interview. More than 35,000 futures and options contracts on European carbon allowances were traded in London on Sept. 15, the executive said.

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