Question 1: Which activities and initiatives mentioned in The World Bank Group at Work do you think are having the most significant impact and why?
|Milton Devadosan, General Manager-Operations, The Bridge Foundation||The programs aimed at sensitizing farmers, providing training to them, insurance cover, guiding and enabling them to manage in case of drought. It is also excellent in guiding them to use the existing resources in a judicious way. Above all, this effort would make the people at the grass root level understand the impact of climate change and will bringforth positive changes in them towards mitigating risks of the key issue.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, Professor, IIM Indore, India||Climate Change|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institute of Finanicial Management||individual case studies of various country and they motivate other to follows.|
|Sebastien Godinot, Campaigns Coordinator, Friends of the Earth France||- It is amazing that this World Bank report does not mention at all the fossil fuels, coal,oil and gas projects that the WBG finances massively, thus contributing to massive climate change : the WBG has a heavy responsibilty there, what will you change there ?|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||To finance the projects which aims to mitigate climate change is the most significant area because of scarcity of financial mechanism in developing country.|
|Dr. R. Shashi Kumar, Reader in Economics, Bangalore University, India||Partnering with the Government, UN, GEF and MDBs plays significant role in promoting climatic conditions in better way. The international dialogue on development through climatic sustainability provides ample opportunities to World Bank in enhancing it's goal of achieving economic equity in the world. Supporting climatic change adaptation initiatives through the Development Marketplace (DM) 2009 is also very important activity.|
|Ramesha Chandrappa, Officer, KSPCB||Partnering with governments.|
|Manganda Iloweka Ernest, Forum International Pour L'Exploitation Forestiere||The ones on climate change,because they allow me conduct researcher about land degradation.|
|Thomas Grammig||WBG efforts and failures to deepen carbon markets seem the most significant because the organisation spans the full range between CDM regulation changes and carbon valuation. The 10 carbon funds create carbon packaging patterns that have much influence.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institue of Financial Management||Financing activiites / initiatives more significant because any problem|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Bring in LDC to a fuller understanding of the impact that Climate change is and will have upon their nations|
|firstname.lastname@example.org, Director, SEE & DO USA Foundation||Development - I think, realizing overall human development in the least developed countires is a single most important issue. Why, we can simple implement all our plans. That simple.|
|Josefina Doumbia, Principal Env Spec, IFC||Stting a climate change framework is a good initial step. It is "forcing" Senior Management to begin to integrate this aspect in their programs as well as it give s good signal to the outside world|
|Mamdouh Salameh, Oil Market Consultant||The World Bank's activities to generate sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction as well as mitigation of the adverse effect on the environment in the developing countries will eventually have the most sigificant impact. These activities are being persued without compromising the economic development of these countries. The starategy being followed to achieve these goals is, in my opinion, very sound and cost-effective.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||You have published my article/reports previously.(Vincin Google English Chinese etc)It is not my intention to be critical of WBG noble goals but in these critical times of life threatening environmental decay the Bank stands in the most unique position to lead in reparation with necessarily major capital outlay. It is time for leadership to step forward. There is an array of agencies handling but on aspect of environmental reporting and few in the trenches. The point missed is water-air-soil-vegetation (WASV) are the only assets of the planet all else commodities. I am in China with partners UN CCG capturing CO2e and reversing 200m hectares(yes18%)of desert to sustainable agriculture. I have seen world agencies fund mass tree planting as CO2 sinks and scores of men with massive pumps up into mountains watering such and Farmers down catchment loss their Family farm as the water table gone and regional environs turned to desert. Alas folk in a power job do not give up their post to be a team member easily!|
|Hector Mongi, Institute of Resource Assessment||Supporting the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and variability and enhancing their contribution to mitigate the changing climate.|
Question 2: Adaptation is at the center of the Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change: How do you view the World Bank Group's engagement on adaptation?
|Milton Devadosan, General Manager-Operations, The Bridge Foundation||This is a very good approach. This would speed up the whole process of achieving the mission.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, Professor, IIM Indore, India||Adaptation at the center will help in bringing solutions due to climate change, in addition focus on research may be added to challange the existing theories and to suplement existing theories|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institute of Finanicial Management||right move at appropriate time|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||Effective|
|Dr. R. Shashi Kumar, Reader in Economics, Bangalore University, India||By making adaptation and climatic risk management, taking advantage of development activities and it's focus on knowledge and capacity development, the World Bank has supporting it's member countries in reducing vulnerability of natural disasters, poverty and unemployment/underemployment of resources. But, the adaptation methods should be improved by considering the fragility situatiions of developing and underdeveloped countries.|
|Manganda Iloweka Ernest, Forum International Pour L'Exploitation Forestiere||we want the World Bank fund us significantly to combat the challenge of climate change efficiently.Particularly the projects from Civil Society NGOs.|
|Thomas Grammig||Risk management is the most precise format for climate policy but also a challenging one since it demands ranking risks and thereby distribute efforts and costs. Programmatic projects seem therefore a suitable approach but alignments with other donors is hardly helpful to define risk. Rather the practitioners' networks and expert groups shaped to realize risk management might be useful to express risk.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institue of Financial Management||very appropirate|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||I respectfully suggest adaptation is not the route but rather utilizing historically established natural process to reverse the impact|
|email@example.com, Director, SEE & DO USA Foundation||It seems to me adaptation is a center only on strategic plan paperwork. The reality is far away to me. Well, while there are undeniable attempts made to reach out the unknown, we are far away from implementing the strategy . The World Bank group has been very slow and limited on adaptation engagement.|
|Josefina Doumbia, Principal Env Spec, IFC||Very timid and preliminary. I do not see us discussing about potential alternatives to be consider on projects the organization invest on|
|Mamdouh Salameh, Oil Market Consultant||Very imaginative and focused.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Adaptation of WASV master plan must be the cornerstone! addressing climate change without comprehending cause effect and best solution to all the decaying life sustaining environmental issues at the same time is like the above mention tree planting disaster is folly. The trees are dying and as they fall down the mountain roots and all erosion follows.s|
|Hector Mongi, Institute of Resource Assessment||It is encouraging, but still much more involvement is required especially in the mitigation and adaptation. Recognition of the importance to support countries with natural forests benefiting from their conservation is very important. Much more impacts are to be realized at the community level where any forest degradation could be easily controlled.|
Question 3: Mitigation opportunities can have other development benefits: How do you see the World Bank Group's role in bringing co-benefits to our client countries through low-carbon development?
|Milton Devadosan, General Manager-Operations, The Bridge Foundation||In developing countries this is a very big challenge but nevertheless this effort would bring positive impact in the respective area of intervention.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, Professor, IIM Indore, India||Low carbon campaign and carbon trading should penetrate in house holds, NGOs, SMEs and Education institutes|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institute of Finanicial Management||encouraging treee plantation both in forest and outside the forest area|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||impressive|
|Dr. R. Shashi Kumar, Reader in Economics, Bangalore University, India||The corbon finance operations of the World Bank has graciously promotes the public-private partnerships. The supportive innovation in technology would improve agricultural productivity and thereby increasing purchasing power of the farmers to increase the activities business cycle. In this regard, the World Bank is promoting benefits to it's client countries. The World Bank has to analyse effectively the measurement of corbon sequestered.|
|Manganda Iloweka Ernest, Forum International Pour L'Exploitation Forestiere||the World Bank should finance more and more projects to combat diseases,crop decrease due to climate changes.|
|Thomas Grammig||Analytical work to describe co-benefits appears occasionally but often not in a structured form."Backward and forward linkages" and the strength of such linkages could provide useful comparisons. Carbon markets are also in dire need of quality indicators. WBG could gather information not included in UNFCCC documents and elaborate indicators and elasticities for others to test.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institue of Financial Management||postively i see, carbon financing should be practiced fragmatically.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||The Bank must switch to the big issue. Soil water vegetation atmosphere are the baseline assets of mankind and Planet all else commodities! With a well planned protocol as we are applying here in PRC well planned CO2 capture with appropriate C4 (photosynthesis pathway) vegetation meeting Kyoto articles 3.3 and 3.4 (subject to UNFCCC-IPCC opening up such to save the Planet) can lower mass volumes of CO2 reverse deserts to sustainable agriculture well planned plantings can restart rain cycles as we are doing here in PRC.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org, Director, SEE & DO USA Foundation||Very slow and in fact, the World Bank complicated the issue of low carbon development. It is not a shortage of idea or resources that the Bank group is lacking but it is the enormous bureaucracy which is blocking the progress and making it insufficient.|
|Josefina Doumbia, Principal Env Spec, IFC||Well we still finance numerous high carbon projects. And what is sadder is that we have the "philosophical" justification for it.|
|Mamdouh Salameh, Oil Market Consultant||The World Bank's client countries will definitely benefit from the mitigation of the adverse effects on the environment. Their agriculture will improve its crops and their water resources will be cleaner and better utilized. There are also the added financial benefits of having their energy bills reduced and the acquiring of new technologies in dealing with the environment. Any financial savings by the developing countries could be used to revamp their infrastructure.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Carbon-trace element transpiration Cycle are cornerstones of reparation. I see mass wind farms in the middle of desert where the ancient ground water evaporation creates the wind while the sun shines and note up catchment the ancient aquifer feed water source gone (a bit like the mountain tree planting (above comment). The mass mistake by so many is they thought C3 trees sequestered CO2 when in fact they leave deserts once harvested. A C3rain forest survives as the C4 understorey sequesters the CO2 for trees to drink. I most strongly suggest you assemble the nations together explain WASV and carbon cycle before a penny is paid out for un scientific wild cat ideas are funded. It would break your heart to see the waste I see.|
|Hector Mongi, Institute of Resource Assessment||Many developing countries like mine are already low carbon developers. Participating in mitigation plans would therefore support other areas of economy and promote growth.|
Question 4: How is the World Bank Group helping in the area of capacity building, knowledge generation, and sharing lesson learned? What are the specific issue areas where it should focus capacity building assistance to client countries?
|Milton Devadosan, General Manager-Operations, The Bridge Foundation||If country specific risks are identified and action is taken to address one or two specific field which needs immediate attention, we can expect massive change. This approach will also to identify the capcity building needs, and enable us to generate knowldege generation. This initiate would faciliate the perculation of knowledge about climate change and proactive actions at all levels in a country.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, Professor, IIM Indore, India||Research at local level, as issues are substantially affected by local reasons|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institute of Finanicial Management||reports, dismination etc.|
|Sebastien Godinot, Campaigns Coordinator, Friends of the Earth France||Aider les fossiles avec les IFI, une aberration économique et sociale|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||The best practices should be disqusted with relavant country authorities by relavant World Bank Country Offices.|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||The World Bank should focus to build the capacity of Environment Protection None Governmental Organization, Local Municipalities and Individuals who try to countribute the Bank|
|Ramesha Chandrappa, Officer, KSPCB||It is not reached grass root level.|
|Manganda Iloweka Ernest, Forum International Pour L'Exploitation Forestiere||the World Bank should raise help of capacity building in the areas of struggle against desertification,land degradation,deseases due to climate change,it should improve healt in general.|
|Thomas Grammig||Even so I try to get everything available about CF-Assist, I can not see its specificity. The institutional differences between India, China and Brazil seem so salient, that it should be able to express differences in CF-Assist work in these countries without touching sensitive aspects.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institue of Financial Management||you can orgnize intenational workshops and confenrce|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||With great respect looking only at singular issues will not address for example getting the workers bees birds microbes back to full strength (PRC hand pollinate who else can afford to do this)? I respectfully suggest a new thinking is demanded if mankind is to survive address repairing the baseline assets (mentioned above) a a master plan rather than an array of small subjects is demanded. Please come visit us|
|email@example.com, Director, SEE & DO USA Foundation||The bank can and should play a vital role when it comes to capacity building and knowledge sharing an so on but the bank group more interested in political willingness and its institutional long term gain, I think. The bank groups should make decision based on the needs on the ground not those unstable political leaderships of each country, particularly in the developing world. The bank group first and for most focus on overall development and find a way to work with local nongovernmental groups. If we are serious and talking adaptation, it starts from a village.|
|Josefina Doumbia, Principal Env Spec, IFC||Not know|
|Mamdouh Salameh, Oil Market Consultant||The client countries could benefit from the World Bank's technical expertise in the fields of insulation and the construction of environmentally-friendly buildings so as to save energy.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Within 4 years we could have most nations self sustained with WASV and maintaining BAU allowing these new technologies such as stoichiometric hydrogen H2O-HHO-H2O to be implemented and nations have their soil-soil carbon and trace elements and hydrological cycles restored.Within 10yrs sustainable WASV less than 1.76%GNP actually a profit|
|Ramesha Chandrappa||Methane trapping form solid waste. Using bio fuel for transportation.|
|Hector Mongi||Enhancing understanding of climate change, its impacts, mitigation and adaptation measures still required. Knowledge generation and sharing through WB has only targeted a very small fraction of beneficiaries and victims of climate change and variability. This is because majority leave in developing countries where internet, TV, and other communication infrastructures are still less developed. I also encourage more support to train the scientists who would play a key role in cascading information downwords.|
Question 5: What other suggestions or comments do you have?
|Milton Devadosan, General Manager-Operations, The Bridge Foundation||As of now, I am seeing top down approach, which has limited scope to reach the bottom (common people). However, based on the current circumstances, the initiatives taken by WBG is appropriate.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, Professor, IIM Indore, India||More training programmes to create awareness - through online, conferences at local/national level|
|Ramesha Chandrappa, Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board||Discourage physical conferences by not providing funds to physical conferences. Support only online conference. This will help people who can't afford to travel for participation and cutdown emission by reducing unnecessary travelling.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institute of Finanicial Management||the bank should have solid practical commitment and create claimate mitigation fund and countries having more forest cover should be paid suitable compensation out of the fund created in substantial way.|
|Sercil Tokoglu, Senior Financial Analyst, Development Bank of Turkey||The World Bank before allocating funds from its resources for climate change programs should, as a prerequisite, request from each country the following:|
|Roland Keller||I am 19 years old and not an expert in the work of the world bank towards climate change. I think emission trading is a very inefficent way to stop stop countries emitting greenhouse gas emissions, like we have seen in the past. The idea of buying yourself free seem to have no impact on the behaving of people and nations.|
|Dr. R. Shashi Kumar, Reader in Economics, Bangalore University, India||The World Bank has contributed towards the need for an approach in mitigating the threat of climate change that is equitable distribution. It also accomodating differing perspectives on risk related development. I would like to suggest the following issues in which the World Banks has to take initiative for further strengthening it's development attitude through better climatic conditions.|
|Ramesha Chandrappa, Officer, KSPCB||Make parternership with media and movie makers. They will take your ideas further.|
|Manganda Iloweka Ernest, Forum International Pour L'Exploitation Forestiere||We must sensitize people on how to purify water;how to limit deforestation and land degradation;how to use renewable energies and encourage actions for poverty alleviation|
|Ramesha Chandrappa, Assistant Environmental Officer, KSPCB||Dematerialising currency (like dematerialising equities) all over the world will not only help cuttinmg trees, it will also help in reducing corruption which is one of the main cause for environmental degradation.|
|Dr. Teki Surayya, Associate Professor, National Institue of Financial Management||poverty reduction and climate change should be studies closely asa they have large relationships.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Set in place a baseline asset Water atmosphere Soil Vegetation reparation plan today as we have according to worlds best science 4-8 yrs to get the Workers bees birds worms back on the job. we will deliver 200m hectares by 2012, 25b tonnes CO2 reduction hopefully see rainfall cycles starting and indeed soil to grow food the bonus flora fauna return. Nothing brilliant just replicating Nature but quicker (as is so needed). My partners UNIDO UNDP PRC via her number one company wish you well in your noble initiatives. Without prejudice Robert Vincin Beijing come visit|
|firstname.lastname@example.org, Director, SEE & DO USA Foundation||By far, the WB is doing great work and we want you to be engaged with the people not with those temporary political leaders. Thank you for the opportunity.|
|Josefina Doumbia, Principal Env Spec, IFC||The institution should begin identifying what are the PRACTICAL actions we should be taken for each of the sectors we invest in (mining, oil and gas, tourism, construction, chemicals, etc.) to truly begin implementing the WBG six pillars: (a) scaling-up operational approaches to integrate adaptation and mitigation in development strategies; (b) consolidating efforts to mobilize and deliver finance; (c) expanding the WBG’s role in developing new markets; (d) tapping private sector resources for climate friendly development; (e) clarifying the WBG’s role in accelerating technology development and deployment; and (f) stepping-up policy research, knowledge management and capacity building.|
|Mamdouh Salameh, Oil Market Consultant||There are many means and technologies to reduce the adverse imapct of the burning of fossil fuels on the environment. Transport fuels like oil are the biggest polluters.|
|Robert Vincin, President, Emission Trader International Pty Ltd||Within 4 years we could have most nations self sustained with WASV and maintaining BAU allowing these new technologies such as stoichiometric hydrogen H2O-HHO-H2O to be implemented and nations have their soil-soil carbon and trace elements and hydrological cycles restored.Within 10yrs sustainable WASV less than 1.76%GNP actually a profit|
|Srikantha Reddy||planting billions of plants across globe is the only option and also see that they survive for couple of years|
|Ramesha Chandrappa||online course on climate adoption|
|Hector Mongi, Institute of Resource Assessment||Enhance multi-lingual capacity building, knowledge generation and sharing. There are a lot of indigenous knowledge out there which are not shared because of language barriers. WB can support citizen media tools like individual and community blogs and capitalizing on volunteer interpreters to make this knowledge spread further and increase impacts. FAO-CTA is trying this and I believe the WB can enhance this effort or learn from such initiative including designing tools that increase participation.|
|Vrajlal Sapovadia, IIM Indore, India||WB should start online course on climate change and mitigation etc.|
Additional CommentsFrom Jill Blockhus, Senior Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
The World Bank is also working with NGO and academic partners to develop ecosystem-based adaptation approaches, which often provide low-cost alternatives to hard engineering solutions to reduce the vulnerability of communities. Protecting ecosystems so that they can continue providing important ecosystem services, such as protection from storms and sea level rise, regulating water quality and hydrology in coastal habitats, and maintaining ecological conditions for productive fisheries and livelihoods on which so many depend, is a no-regrets option with multiple benefits now and in the future. The World Bank co-authored an article on "Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems" which was first presented at the World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia and later published in a scientific journal. These marine ecosystem adaptation partners make the case for urgent action to develop, implement and fund ecosystem-based adaptation strategies involving coastal communities as a priority response to climate change.From William T Smith, Independent Consultatant
In responding to an invitation to comment on "Development and Climate Change" I will draw on my experience in project design, mainly acquired during many years in the Bank. Also, in recent years I have taken an interest in climate change, basically as a pastime, that has led me to analyze climate data, the prevailing opinions on climate change, and the remedies being considered by the Bank and others.
I will not stay too close to the text of D and CC. Instead I shall have a few things to say about project design for adaptation in agriculture and other sectors where I believe the strategy should be to produce projects that make sense now but are flexible enough to adjust if significant climate changes take place in the future. The principles and practices of project identification, appraisal, and implementation are well tested and can be applied to projects whether or not they aim to adapt to the distant and uncertain impact of climate change.
There is a case to look more closely at actual long-term continuous temperature records rather than the IPCC global climate anomaly. Much can be learned of farmer behavior in areas where warming is close to the global warming predictions, and from the trends in sensitive areas such as the Antarctic and the Arctic. A more critical approach is needed as regards climate models and their ability to model such a widely variable phenomena as temperature and especially rainfall.
The CIF supporting studies, and their predecessor Bank Policy Research Working Papers, would not in my view survive an objective assessment of their usefulness in formulating productive elements of the CIF.
A brief review of some of the projects listed in the CIF website as "Examples of Projects Addressing Climate Change" raises questions on major multi-million hectare ventures in Brazil and Mexico.
Temperature and Rainfall
What follows is not intended as a challenge to the GHG/warming theory. Rather it makes the point that we need to look at the diversity of actual climate records when thinking about adaptation rather just IPCC’s temperature anomalies and climate models. I have yet to see a report from the Bank, the US Government, IPCC, and the many climate change organs that show any interest in past records. I do not suggest that one can extrapolate from past records--they just show us where we have been. But, they can describe temperature and rainfall variations in areas where we know the physical or agronomic response. Also, they show that parts of the world have experienced in living memory warming that exceeded current temperatures.
According to IPCC the average annual mean global temperature has risen 0.74C (termed an anomaly) since1900. IPCC then estimates future global anomalies using models, but display no interest in the fact that individual records show significant differences in trends between and within countries and regions. These differences appear despite the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide is uniformly distributed throughout the earth’s atmosphere.
Worldwide and US temperature and rainfall data can be found at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and. at the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). Links to their websites are: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/ for GISS and http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ushcn/usa_monthly.html for USHCN. Tabular and graphic data are available at both sites and these are user-friendly. I would be glad to share with anyone interested, what I have learned of how to access and analyze such data.
Some findings of interest from analyses of the above data are: (a) most southern states in the US show a century-long cooling trend; (b) stations on the Antarctic Continent between 70 degrees South and the South Pole show no trend, cooling or warming; (c) Tokyo, Seoul, and other stations in Japan, Korea, and South Africa show steadily rising trends of 3 °C that have not impeded great success in agriculture; (c) a station at the site now occupied by Reagan National Airport also shows a 3 °C rising trend over many years that nobody seems to have noticed; (d) long-term continuous records often show higher temperatures in the 1940s than the recent highs.
Typically, a plot of a 100-year record of annual mean temperatures shows annual values within a range of 2°C to 3°C but larger ranges are not uncommon. The highest temperature in a year is generally 2°C to 3°C above the annual mean. Within a day, the temperature range is around 20°C. It is not uncommon, in the same country, for some stations to show long-term cooling and others to show warming. Rainfall is of course much more variable than temperature. Year-to-year variations in a range of 50 percent above and below the mean in annual rainfall are not uncommon.
Adaptation in Agriculture
The preceding discussion of climate records does not instill confidence in climate models that claim to predict for the distant future such highly variable phenomena as temperature within one or two degrees and rainfall within a few inches. In fact, it is not necessary to rely on models. For farmers who depend on rain, an ideal adaptation project would be one that would help farmers take up new varieties and land management techniques that are not only profitable now but would make them less vulnerable to climate change in the future. A good example of this can be found in the two Loess Plateau Projects in China and the Shanxi Poverty Alleviation Project with which I was closely involved throughout their design and implementation. These were not specifically designed as adaptation projects but they give farmers the options to adapt crops and livestock to markets and climate change.
Cultural practices, crop varieties and land development techniques to allow farmers to be productive in areas of higher temperatures and lower rainfall are to a large extent available, A good example is the Republic of South Africa that has experienced temperature gains of 3°C to 4°C over the past 50 years (see Pretoria and Pietersburg on the GISS site), but nevertheless has greatly increased and diversified production of staple crops, fruits and vegetables despite the higher temperatures. Japan and Korea are also countries where agriculture has thrived despite temperature trends of 3-4°C n the past 50 years.
Unexpected markets often appear and open new options for farmers. Those of us who have worked over the years in Asia have seen this happen in many countries and we could cite many examples. Africa must also have its share of success stories. I was in Ghana three years ago and I was greatly impressed by small-holders growing high-quality vegetables for export and taking up new ventures in orchard crops. China, despite its hostile climate has a tremendous record of diversification into high value crops.
The point of these remarks is that farmers have shown a remarkable ability to adapt to market opportunities and they can be expected to adapt to future changes in climate. For most farmers the challenge will be to adapt new varieties and farming practices to their present situation. However, like all agriculture projects, the success of adaptation projects will depend on an array of supporting activities such as markets, credit, governance, agricultural extension, and good roads.
Sea Level Change
Potential sources of sea level rise are the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps. Temperature data for Greenland and the Antarctic can be found at the GISS site. The records for the Antarctic can be plotted to show that the only warming is in the Antarctic Peninsular (3 percent of the total area). The remaining area from latitude 68 South to the South Pole has numerous 50-year records which show no cooling or warming trends. Only two or three records ever rise above zero and only for a month or so. In the rest of a year, temperatures are tens of degrees below zero. . The thinning of the Arctic seas ice is likely to be due to sea temperature changes and is not related to human activities. The volume of water produced by the retreat of mountain glaciers is negligible in its effect on sea levels.
The potential for abrupt changes in sea levels due to melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are generally considered by most experts to be related to higher ocean temperatures and currents that are not due to man-made influences. A recent Bank research note refers to estimates of a 5-7 meter rise in sea levels due to instability in the ice caps but does not answer the question of whether actions to raise sea defense works now are justified given the uncertainty of such an event.
The Bank’s video on "Development and Climate Change" shows Bangladesh as being especially vulnerable to sea level rise. The coastal areas of Bangladesh are subject tidal surges produced by cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. A few centimeters gain in mean sea level would have absolutely no effect on the frequency and magnitude of storm surges. Factors affecting sea level change vary greatly from place and include land subsidence in some places and uplift in others.
A common but incorrect theory is that glacier retreat in the high-altitude snow and ice fields of river basins such as the Yangtze, Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra will reduce annual rivers flows. Runoff from such areas is dependent primarily on intense monsoon rainfall and snow. It is hard to believe that climate models can predict runoff from such huge areas. Development options for most large river basins are limited because there are few dam sites left to control runoff.
Bank Studies and Research
There are three CIF supporting studies of recent origin that I have commented on in the past: The Economics Of Adaptation To Climate Change; the Forestry Investment Program Design Document; and the Design Document for Scaling-Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries. I shall briefly return to these studies after a digression to the work on climate change done in the Bank between 1999 and 2008 in the form of Policy Research Working Papers.
The aim of the CIF studies and the Policy Research Working Papers is, one assumes, to guide the various disciplines in the basic concepts and detailed design of climate adaptation projects. As you will see from the following comments, one can question whether that aim has been or is being achieved. These studies offer little to help agronomists, engineers, and economists. Fortunately, principles and practices of project identification, appraisal, and implementation are well tested, and can be applied to power, agriculture, or flood control projects whether or not they aim to adapt to the distant and uncertain impact of climate change.
Bank Policy Research Working Papers
I counted 20 Policy Research Working Papers on agriculture of which 14 are for Africa. They are highly theoretical and use something called a Ricardian Analysis to predict how farmers will respond to higher temperatures and changes in rainfall. Inputs from agronomists and engineers appear negligible, and quality control is largely absent. Almost all the Papers present the output of various climate models. Sometimes there are three or four climate scenarios in the same paper with significant differences, but seldom is it clear how they have been applied to predict farmer behavior.
The Papers have come up with some curious findings. For example, higher temperatures are predicted to cause pastoral farmers to abandon their unique way of life and become mixed farmers because temperatures are predicted to rise by about 3 °C in the next 50 years. Small changes in rainfall will cause farmers to shift from irrigated to rainfed crops and, for irrigated farmers who don’t shift, more rainfall will cause them to suffer a loss in farm income. A Paper devoted to Egypt (with 99% of its land irrigated) not surprisingly found irrigation to be the adaptation of choice. Another Paper found that a hot and dry scenario would cause an Africa-wide increase in fruit and vegetables production, without any mention of market demand, access, credit, roads, and extension services. A study of Andhra Pradesh was troubled by the fact that a large area is irrigated whereas an even larger area is rainfed. The solution proposed was to spread irrigation water at a depth of two inches over the rainfed area--the cost of such a futile undertaking was not discussed.
A common finding in the Papers is that irrigation is a good adaptation to climate change. Obviously, but good irrigation projects can be justified without recourse to the findings of IPCC. Furthermore it should be noted that the area occupied by dryland farmers in Africa (except Egypt) far exceeds the area with irrigation potential. Private adaptation, presumably as opposed to public adaptation, is strongly recommended in the Papers. Are there countries outside of North Korea that still tell farmers what to grow?
Recent CIF Supporting Studies
These documents combine a lot of bureaucratic arrangements with theoretical economics. There is a general failure to acknowledge our inability to predict the climate changes and their impact. Ten years of Bank Policy Research Working Papers failed to do this, so the writers should not expect help from that quarter. Fortunately, the Bank’s well-tested principles and practices of project identification, appraisal, and implementation are applicable to power, agriculture, or flood control projects whether or not they aim to adapt to the distant and uncertain impact of climate change.
The Economics Of Adaptation To Climate Change
I have commented on an earlier version of this and it was well received but it seems to have had no effect in making the product more operational. In the latest version the tone is set by the first objective; "Identify and evaluate the expected impacts of climate change in developing countries at different levels under different climate change scenarios and assess and measure the implied major social, environmental and economic impacts (including, when feasible, non-monetary)." Other objectives equally implausible keep appearing throughout the document. In agriculture, much more effort should be directed to looking at how farmers have responded to external factors not only climate, but new markets, roads, supporting services, and land development. Efforts to estimate the global cost of climate change should be set aside. What would one do with such a number except argue about it?
Forestry Investment Program Design Document
My comments on this had no apparent effect. A first and essential step in the preparation of the FIP should be to draw on the experience of the Bank and other agencies to form a knowledge base that would guide the activities to be financed by FIP. There are people working for the Bank as staff and consultants who have been closely involved in the design and supervision of various modes of forestry and land development in a wide range of countries and under different physical and socioeconomic settings. Recourse to this valuable source of knowledge would lead to a menu of possible initiatives in numerous countries that could then be developed in more detail. This process should precede the formation of the Subcommittee and the Expert Group since it would be of value in the mobilization of suitable skills for these two bodies and also guide them in formulating the main elements of an FIP.
Design Document for Scaling-Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries
It is odd that an exercise to "Scale up Renewables" should place so much emphasis on pilot projects. Hydro and geothermal the two options that can really make difference are already scaled up. This document is a long way from producing some results that would lead the way to useful projects. There seems to be too much international cooperation/ coordination/and stake holder consultation that must precede such practical steps. It is very short on an assessment of the energy situation in low income countries, and there is no suggestion of a plan to remedy that situation. For most low-income countries their main concern is to keep pace with demand using the most readily available and lowest cost options. A question then is what can renewables do to close the supply/demand gap? Governments and power companies have to consider the economics of renewables as parts of their power system as well as their compatibility with other parts of their system. This study has a Working Party of 34 people mostly lacking in energy experience.
Comments on Some Climate Change Projects
Mexico: Clean Technology Investment Fund A major project component is for a 4.5 million ha plan for Land Use, Forestry and Bio-energy. This is an improbable undertaking. Surprisingly it is not described in the text of the PAD. The only information for it is in a table, and costs appear nowhere in the report. There is no reference to past experience in Mexico on the feasibility of the proposed targets: reforesting 1.7 million ha, restoring degraded soils on 690,000 ha, expanding commercial plantations by 100,000 ha per year, and restoring agricultural land to perennial and mixed crops on 900,000 ha. Furthermore, no figures are advanced to explain the component’s effect in reducing emissions. Other components have a separate annex with a cost table; one has to assume these are in thousand US dollars. They add up to about $5.7 billion excluding the land use component. The "Forest Policy Research" website quotes Mexican sources to the effect that a Government initiative (Pro Arbol) to replant trees has failed on a spectacular scale.
Brazil: First Programmatic Development Policy Loan for Sustainable Environmental Management:
This project commits $1.3 billion to a plan with the following targets. (1) Expand the sustainable natural forest management area from 2.7 to 5.0 million hectares; (2) reduce the average annual rate of deforestation in the Amazon over between 2008-2011 by 300,000 ha; (3) promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity, rehabilitate degraded areas, or prevent/combat deforestation., or prevent/combat deforestation within 500,000 hectares receiving support from the Amazon and Atlantic Forest Funds. This information is in the cover sheet of the PAD. The main report and annexes are devoted to a review of the strength and weaknesses of institutions and successes and failures in environmental policies and practices. A first tranche of the loan in the amount of $796 million will be disbursed on effectiveness; the second tranche will disburse subject to certain conditions. The 139-page text of the report has nothing to say on how the physical targets will be implemented or how the loan proceeds are to be spent. A three-page article in the June 13 issue of the "Economist" presents a more revealing assessment of the challenges in Amazonia.
Vietnam: Renewable Energy Project
This is a $311 million project to construct small hydroelectric projects with an estimated total capacity of about 250 MW installed capacity producing about 960 GWh of electricity annually. This is a high plant factor for small projects on seasonal streams. Daily peaking (assuming some storage is provided) can be disruptive to downstream users, but the PAD touches only lightly on environmental and social aspects. Generation of 960 GWh a gas-fired thermal plant might produce 600,000 metric tons of carbon. This is a miniscule amount for a system likely to have 41,000 MW of installed capacity (mostly thermal) by 2015. Are there not more productive uses for scarce IDA funds in Vietnam
India: Coal Fired Generation Rehabilitation Project
This is a $225 million project to upgrade three small, 25-year old thermal plants with a combined capacity of 530 MW in a system with a total capacity of 77,000 MW. It claims that it will reduce carbon emissions. This is unlikely because although the plants might put out less carbon per MWh they will certainly run for more hours per year after rehabilitation.
Ethiopia: Sustainable Land Management Project
This is a $29 million Grant (Bank plus GEF) project for 250,000 ha of land development. The Grant would cover 25% of the cost ($116/ha) and the farmers would contribute the remaining 75% (448/ha) in the form of labor. The PAD describes the objectives and rationale with some physical descriptions, but it is short on such matters as farm size, land tenure, climate, and crops grown now and with the project. The impression is that a lot of socioeconomic and agronomic details are still to be worked out in planning and implementation. The authors may wish to look at the Second Loess Plateau Project (China) and the ICR.