World Bank foresees climate adding to poor

STOCKHOLM — Climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 by disrupting agriculture and fueling the spread of malaria and other diseases, the World Bank said in a report Sunday.

Released just weeks ahead of a UN climate summit in Paris, the report highlighted how the impact of global warming is borne unevenly, with the poor woefully unprepared to deal with climate shocks such as rising seas or severe droughts.

''They have fewer resources and receive less support from family, community, the financial system, and even social safety nets to prevent, cope, and adapt,'' the Washington-based World Bank said.


How to help poor countries — and poor communities within countries — deal with climate is one of the crunch issues in talks on a global climate accord that's supposed to be adopted next month in Paris.

Those who say rich countries aren't doing enough to help the poor said the report added emphasis to demands for billions of dollars in so-called climate finance to developing countries. ''The statistics in the World Bank report are suitably shocking and I hope they force world leaders to sit up and take notice,'' said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid.

Separately on Sunday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France said more than 100 world leaders will attend the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris, including President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Fabius said Putin will be among speakers on the first day, with President Obama and leaders of India and China. Organizers expect 40,000 to attend the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 conference, plus thousands of activists from environmental, rights, and other groups.

Despite pledges to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases, climate change isn't likely to stop anytime soon.

But efforts to protect the poor, such as generally improving access to health care and social safety nets, and targeted measures to upgrade flood defenses and deploy more heat-tolerant crops could prevent most of the negative consequences of climate change on poverty, the World Bank said.