WASHINGTON, January 31, 2014 - The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued the following statement today:
“The appointment of Michael R. Bloomberg as a Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change to the United Nations should be applauded from Beijing to Rio to Mumbai. His selection is a huge boost for global leadership efforts to combat climate change.
“Unless the world takes bold action now, a disastrously warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions and roll back decades of development. Those least able to adapt - the poor and vulnerable - will be hit hardest.
“The World Bank Group is focused on five key areas that can have the biggest impact in tackling climate change: moving forward on climate smart agriculture; accelerating energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy; supporting work on ending fossil fuel subsidies; developing carbon pricing to get prices right for emissions; and building low-carbon, climate resilient cities.
“That last priority – building low-carbon cities – is critically important. The United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change needs to be a visionary who ruthlessly pushes to reach bold targets as quickly as possible. The selection of Michael Bloomberg is inspired. He has the potential of helping mayors across the world turn their cities into clean metropolises that dramatically reduce emissions of dangerous levels of pollutants into the atmosphere. The potential global good is enormous: Estimates show if the world’s cities take a low-carbon development path, we could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 giga-tons, or 30 percent of the world’s emissions, which is twice the annual carbon footprint of the entire European Union.
“Mr. Bloomberg’s record in New York City serves as a model for cities around the world. During his tenure as mayor, he called in 2007 for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Today, just seven years later, New York City is already two-thirds of the way toward meeting that goal.
“We stand ready to help Mr. Bloomberg and the two other UN Special Climate Envoys -- John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, and Jens Stoltenberg, former Prime Minister of Norway – in their efforts to lead the global fight against climate change. The future of our children and grandchildren to live in a clean and sustainable planet depends on the leaders of today.”