The World Bank
“The world may need a new U.N. pact to compensate victims of climate change or risk a tangle of billion-dollar lawsuits linked to heatwaves, droughts and rising seas, a study said on Wednesday.
The report, commissioned by the WWF UK environmental group, said the world already had compensation deals for accidents from nuclear power, oil spills, or even objects launched into space. But there were no U.N. schemes for damage from climate change…
Among options were an international compensation fund set up by some future U.N. treaty to compensate victims, according to the report, released on the sidelines of Dec. 1-12 U.N. talks in Poland on fighting climate change.” [Reuters News]
In related news: “A group of 43 small island states called on Wednesday for tougher goals for fighting global warming than those being considered at U.N. climate talks, saying that rising seas could wipe them off the map….
The 43 nations, including low-lying coral atolls from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, said global warming should be limited to a maximum of 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, below a 2.0 C goal by the European Union.” [Reuters]
AP adds: “Climate change could become the main driver of refugee movements, uprooting millions each year, a U.N. official said Wednesday as the United Nations and Red Cross urged a stronger global effort to help people face the fallout from global warming.
Worse storms, more flooding and decreasing rainfall, which are likely to hit the world’s poorest people hardest, are among the expected consequences as climate change takes hold….
[Jose] Riera, [a senior policy adviser with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] said conservative estimates predict about 250 million people being forced to move by climate change by 2050.” [The Associated Press]
“Half of humanity could face water shortages by 2050 if the world lets the financial crisis distract it from fighting global warming, a key UN climate change summit of more than 185 countries has been told…
[Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri] cited projections that the number of people living in river valleys and facing water stress could quadruple from more than 1.1 billion in 1995 to more than 4.3 billion by 2050, that a third of species could face extinction, that the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets could melt, triggering massive sea-level rises.” [The Age]