Global warming is not being taken seriously and time is running out to avoid consequences like flooded cities and dried out farmland, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Thursday.
"We are quickly coming to the point where we are not going to be able to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius," Kim said at the start of the IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington.
"Warming by two degrees Celsius is going to have major implications.... 40 percent of the arable land in Africa will be gone at two degrees Celsius; Bangkok could very well be underwater at two degrees Celsius," he said.
The World Bank is making efforts in several areas to fight climate change, including developing carbon pricing and trading schemes, financing for renewable energy, and pressing governments to remove energy subsidies.
But Kim expressed worry that many had stopped thinking about climate change as an urgent problem.
"This is one of those things we here... we have talked ourselves out of taking it seriously," he said.
"But in 10 years, 15 years, when battles break out because of lack of access to water and food, we are all going to be sitting there, thinking: Gosh, why didn't we do more back then?"
"I am extremely concerned about it. I don't think the world is taking it seriously enough yet."
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