Pondering on WB’s warning global warming will undermine SDGs

26Apr 2016
The Guardian
Pondering on WB’s warning global warming will undermine SDGs

Now, to deem a commitment by over 160 World leaders as unrealistic is to lock horns with a wild bull. However, the argument comes from the World Bank, so let the two bulls tangle.

A WB statement released late last year maintains; “ending poverty will be impossible if global warming and its effects on the poor are not accounted for in development efforts.”

While the rest of the world, as represented in the UN, remains confident that the world will end poverty by 2030, the World Bank expects that climate change will throw into abject poverty millions of people, especially in developing countries.

The World Bank would have world leaders remember that climate change hits the poorest the hardest and ‘without the right policies to keep the poor safe from extreme weather and rising seas, climate change could drive over 100 million more people into poverty by 2030.’

Worth pointing out is the fact that the figure given by the World Bank, 100 million more poor people by 2030, adds to the 900 million who already live in extreme poverty as of 2014, this in accordance to the same World Bank report which also puts the number of poor at 702 million people.

At this point, let’s see what world leaders committed themselves to at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 in Paris, France. The conference objective sought to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate action, from all the nations of the world.

It sought to provide a system for countries to assess the impacts of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and their review. Tanzania submitted its INDC well before the COP21 meeting in Paris declaring various ambitious and elaborate plans including calling for developed countries, the biggest CO2 emitters, to take responsibility.

In this regard, the meeting resolved to help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener sources of energy and adapt to the effects of climate change, the developed world will provide USD100 billion a year.

The question here comes, will this money perform its intended task? On the Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index, Tanzania ranked 119th out of 175 countries last year this as the country ranked 159th out of 187 in the human development index.

With such odds stacked against the country, even with commendable and admirable efforts by President John Magufuli, it is hard to rest assured that change is here and that in just 15 years poverty in Tanzania and the rest of the developing world will be eradicated, because even if wishes were horses beggars still could not afford to ride and it is again the wealthy one per cent who would get their wishes granted.

To make matters worse is the ever growing gap between the rich and the poor; consider the results of an Oxfam inspired survey that found the richest 1% in East Africa own as much wealth as the poorest 91% and that the richest six individuals in East Africa own as much as half the region’s population 66 million people.

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