From Amechi Ogbonna, Lima, Peru
THE World Bank Group and other multilateral development finance institutions have assured the developing countries, including Nigeria, that they could access another $100 billion in carbon credit funding assistance to help them further mitigate the consequences of rising climate change in their various jurisdictions.
The World Bank President, Jim Kim Yong, raised the hopes of fresh funding for carbon emission control for the countries, Thursday, in his remarks at the opening press conference of the World Bank/ International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Lima, Peru, noted that since climate change affects every nation and every person, it was imperative for governments and all other stakeholders to create annual funding programme of about $100 billion to fund safety net projects that would significantly impact the poor who are often hardest hit by such consequences.
The World Bank lifeline is coming at a time that Nigeria, a low income nation, has consistently defaulted in meeting its zero flare targets for its natural and associated gas resources due to lack of infrastructure to harness clean energy generation for its citizens.
Kim said: “The world must cut emissions and invest in greater resilience now. At the Paris conference in December, countries must show real ambition. Political will for urgent action is critical. We believe there are politically credible pathways to deliver $100 billion a year in climate financing for countries by 2020. Meeting this commitment will build the trust and confidence necessary for credible emissions reduction targets.”
The World Bank boss, however, hinted that much of the proposed $100 billion was already flowing with multilateral development banks, providing critical financing, saying that the World Bank Group stands ready to scale up its support to meet increasing demand from countries.
He also said the world must act now to put a price on carbon, and fossil fuel subsidies, by increasing access to renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, building cleaner more livable cities, and investing in climate-smart agriculture.
Kim said the WBG had, few days ago, announced that, for the first time in history, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world will likely fall to under 10 per cent this year to 9.6. per cent globally, adding that was the best story that has ever hit the world so far.
“Our goals at the World Bank Group is to end extreme poverty by 2030, and to boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40 per cent in developing countries. While we remain confident about ending extreme poverty, the final stretch will be extremely difficult because we are in the midst of a period of slow growth, the end of the commodity super cycle, pending interest rate hikes and the continued flight of capital out of emerging markets.”
He pointed out, for instance, that after a decade of strong growth and tremendous social progress, Latin America, like other regions, is facing headwinds with forecast for the region likely to be a minor 0.3 per cent growth for 2015, and a slight improvement to 1.1 per cent in 2016.
Kim added that the slowdown poses a threat to hard-won social gains and countries must now adapt. Countries in Latin America need to increase productivity, access to quality education and ensure that the state is more efficient in providing services. The region can promote inclusive growth through reforms that enable it to take advantage of its openness to global trade.
Other issues that may create major challenges for the global community, according to him, include the impact of changing demographics, pointing out that global monitoring report released at the 2015 meeting shows the government must overcome a growing demographic divide, to make future progress.
He said half of the world lives in countries where populations are relatively young and growing, but are poor with little access to quality education while the other half lives in countries where populations are contracting, aging and retiring.
“These countries drive most of the world’s economic activity, but their economic growth is at risk as birth rates and the numbers of workers decline. These demographic realities can be a golden opportunity for both poor and rich countries. In influx of working as refugees or migrants into a country with an aging population can ultimately reap benefits for everyone. But as we’ve been witnessing for the past few years, due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, the flow of refugees can lead to tragedy as well,” he said.
Source : SunOnline