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Rich nations must lead global warming battle

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 – The World Bank on Tuesday called on rich countries to step up the battle against global warming, saying their assistance is essential to help developing countries reduce their carbon footprints.

Developing countries can shift to lower-carbon paths while promoting development and reducing poverty, but this depends on financial and technical assistance from high-income countries, the World Bank said in a report released ahead of the December international conference on climate change in Copenhagen.

"The countries of the world must act now, act together and act differently on climate change," said World Bank president Robert Zoellick.

"Developing countries are disproportionately affected by climate change — a crisis that is not of their making and for which they are the least prepared. For that reason, an equitable deal in Copenhagen is vitally important," he said.

The report, "World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change," says that advanced countries, which produced most of the greenhouse gas emissions of the past, must act quickly to reduce their carbon footprints and boost development of alternative energy sources to help tackle the problem of climate change.

If developed countries act now, a "climate-smart" world is feasible and the costs to achieve it "will be high but still manageable," the Washington-based development lender said.

"A key way to do this is by ramping up funding for mitigation in developing countries, where most future growth in emissions will occur," it said.

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