REFILE-UPDATE 1-Time to stop arguing about climate change, World Bank says

Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:33am EDT

Related Topics

(Drops extraneous word Kim in second paragraph)

* 97-98 scientific agreement on warming means it is real

* China, U.S. 'serious' about climate change

By Nina Chestney

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - The world should stop arguing about whether humans are causing climate change and start taking action to stop dangerous temperature rises, the president of the World Bank said on Wednesday.

Jim Yong Kim said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity.

"If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself," Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London.

"It is time to stop arguing about whether (climate change) is real or not," he said.

A study last month found that 97 percent of around 4,000 scientific reports giving an opinion about the cause of climate change since the 1990s said it was mainly human. Sceptics said the survey wrongly omitted thousands of papers which did not give a view.

Governments across the world have agreed to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Estimates differ over how high temperatures may rise and over what period of time.

The World Bank and others have estimated that the globe has already warmed by about 0.8 degrees C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution and 2 degrees C is widely viewed as a threshold to dangerous changes such as more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

The World Bank wants more focus on the issue.

In a report on Wednesday, it cited Bangkok as an example, saying much of it could flood within the next two decades if global warming stays on its current trajectory.

Kim said that as extreme weather events continue, public opinion about climate change should start to change.

The lack of an international deal is a "lame excuse" to not tackling climate change, Kim said. In the meantime, any kind of agreements or action should be encouraged.

"The level of seriousness at the top in the United States couldn't be higher. As extreme weather events occur (such as) in the mid-west and Hurricane Sandy etc, other legislators will come around," Kim said.

He noted that China, the world's second largest economy, is also taking climate change very seriously.


Even though China is the biggest CO2 emitter in the world and is still building coal plants, it is investing more in solar and wind power than any other country and ramping up efforts to build cleaner cities and more efficient buildings.

China's efforts to develop its own national carbon market - similar to Europe's, is also positive sign for a global agreement, Kim said.

China launched its first emissions trading scheme this week in Shenzhen, marking a milestone in the country's climate policy.

"If we get China, the U.S. and the EU to agree on a price for CO2 we will have a market mechanism to fight climate change. I hope a practical solution will happen before 2020," he added.

The European Union currently operates the world's largest carbon market, which has been in place since 2005.

The rate of warming since the turn of this century, meanwhile, has slowed more than many scientists had expected after strong rises in the 1980s and 1990s. Some have interpreted this as a sign climate change is less of an immediate threat than thought.

Attempts to agree a plan of action to combat climate change failed at a U.N. conference in Copenhagen in 2009, primarily because of concerns over the economic impact. (Additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (30)
tigerade wrote:
There is still a lot of oil/coal company sockpuppets that will disagree with whatever evidence comes for that AGW is real. It doesn’t matter how strong the evidence is, their unconditional love for fossil fuels is stronger. I don’t think that man-made climate change will fully destroy civilization, I’m not a doomsayer. But it will certainly kill a lot of people and have an enormous financial cost. Relocating a large fraction of the world population will not be an easy task, and could result in war. And if it does get really ugly, please remember the climate denial campaigns of Exxon and Peabody Energy and the morons who believed their lies.

Jun 19, 2013 9:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yeah, we need to stop talking about it, because these so called scientists have a vested interest to get money out of their government hands with any kind of messed up data to prove a point.
Look, you go fly over the deserts of the USA, then do it in China, and then in Africa. The amount of heat absorbed onto these land masses is a million more times the energy than man is creating and using every year. We are a tiny speck on the earth, and contribute almost nothing to the environment. This is not a problem at all, and these so called scientists know it. The earth has been warmer than it is, and has been colder than it is. Trying to correct something that is bound to change, is a fools errand.

Jun 19, 2013 9:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LampryMilt wrote:
The Downfall picks up Locomotion. Be aware of your surroundings. YOU must sacrifice for the better good!

Jun 19, 2013 9:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.