Sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity for today’s population and to continue to meet the needs of future generations. It must be efficient with resources and carefully planned to deliver immediate and long-term benefits for people, planet, and prosperity.
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DR. KIM: The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit will take place here in New York tomorrow. More than 120 Heads of State and Government are expected to attend this historic event.Today, ... Show More +ahead of the summit, I’m pleased to announce a powerful development that reveals the great commitment and impatience from governments and companies to move now to fight climate change – and not wait until it’s too late.Today we are announcing that 73 national and 11 regional governments and over one thousand companies and investors support putting a price on carbon. Together, these government supporters represent 52 percent of global GDP, 54 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and almost half the world’s population.The supporters include emitters like China, Russia and the European Union, and growing economies like Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa.Many already have carbon pricing in place or are preparing to implement it. Others, including the Philippines and many small island developing states support carbon pricing because they know that without such action, climate change will have devastating impacts on their populations and on their economies.Companies such as LG Electronics, National Grid and Westpac have already integrated a “shadow” price on carbon into their business strategies to improve decision-making for the future. They know that this will help avoid risks and find opportunities that can increase energy and resource efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions, and give them a competitive edge.The World Bank Group is working with clients, both countries and companies, to put in place effective policies that will price carbon as a necessary step on the path to low carbon growth.I am proud to announce that to support the leadership of these countries and companies, the World Bank Group and the We Mean Business Coalition will be convening a “carbon pricing leadership coalition.”This new leadership coalition will work to advance carbon pricing solutions after the summit ends tomorrow, and up to Paris in 2015. They will be sharing experience, research, and best practices and spurring action across their sectors, supply chains and with their neighbors and allies.Up to now many people have said, “Well, carbon pricing is important but it’s difficult, it’s complicated, it’s not the only solution.” All these things are true, in part or in full, but today these countries and companies are sharing a preparedness to do what’s needed to speed the economic transition.The science is clear, the economics compelling and the politics sometimes difficult. But today we see that the politics aren’t quite so difficult after all, and manageable, when there is leadership.Thank you very much. We are open to your questions.QUESTION: Hello Mr. Kim, thanks for doing this. I have two questions if I may, can you go a little bit more into detail on what the initiative you announced today means for the time going to Paris; what are you going to do, the specifics? The second question I have is if you put a price on carbon, definitely you get some kind of revenues, especially for governments, and I am just wondering, do you have any proposal for what to do with these revenues? Would you be in favor of doing tax cuts in other areas if you raise carbon taxes?DR. KIM: Let me introduce some perspectives on it, and then I’ll ask our Vice President Rachel Kyte to get into some of the details. I think the most important thing is we have to really understand what a sea change this represents.We’ve never had a statement like this on carbon pricing. We’ve certainly never had a statement where representatives of nearly half the world’s population, more than half the world’s GDP, have come together and said we are determined to make a path to a real price on carbon.I think this is by far the most definitive and clear signal that we’re moving in the right direction. So when we started talking to governments and companies about this, there was a lot of hesitation. Something happened over the last few months that got us to where we are today.The most important thing to remember, given where we were a year ago, even six months ago, having this kind of statement makes a huge difference in efforts to get something done at COP21.I just want people to understand how hesitant people were, and governments and businesses were, before this statement, and the importance and the sea change this represents. And for some of the details Rachel Kyte will now jump in.RACHEL KYTE: So two things, on your first point, so we’ve got a number of governments who are already pricing carbon, either through taxes or through emissions trading systems or through other fiscal policies that reveal an effective price on carbon. We’ve got countries who want to see this progression, who know that they want to move in this direction, and are asking for help.Secondly, inside this leadership coalition, we have a thousand companies from every corner of the earth, from all sectors of the economy, and what we want to do now with this group of self-selecting leaders; together with the We Mean Business coalition, is to start rolling up our sleeves and start working, government and business together, on how to bring carbon pricing forward in as many jurisdictions as possible, and to look at the many different ways in which that can be done.We are agnostic, as the World Bank Group, about how that can be done – it can be done in many different ways, but we’re not agnostic on that it should be done, and the earlier that it is done the greater the possibility of spurring investment in cleaner growth and in resilience and moving away from an exposure to carbon in the economy.On your second point around taxes, I think that if you speak to a number of the businesses in the coalition then obviously tax rights are fundamental to their competitiveness. What they are seeking is fair treatment and predictable treatment in all the jurisdictions in which they work. And I think there is a conversation going on within the business community as well as within the economic community about whether or not we should be taxing what we burn rather than taxing what we earn, as the Europeans say.What is the tax regime for a world where we want to drive carbon out of the economy? That is the conversation that has started already and pricing carbon becomes one of the effective first steps as we try to drive carbon out of our economic growth going forward.QUESTION: And the World Bank does not have any position on that? What to do with the tax revenue?RACHEL KYTE: No, the World Bank Group works with our clients hand-in-hand, looking at the structure of their economy, looking at the choices that they need to make, and looking at the way in which they want to grow going forward, so we don’t have a once size fits all answer to that question. We are working with countries that want to introduce taxes, we’re working with countries that want to introduce trading systems, and we’re working with countries that want to use other fiscal policy measures and reduce harmful subsidies and other instruments of choice.So the message from us is not that there’s one way to do this, obviously we’re in fiscal conversations with all of our clients. But the point today is that putting a price on carbon is an important first step, a necessary if insufficient step, towards driving carbon out of the economy.QUESTION: Is it a matter of concern for you that the U.S. is not on the list? How do you think you can move forward without the full cooperation of the world’s largest economic power?DR. KIM: Thanks for the question Jeremy. So first of all, there are several states in the United States on the list, and many of course American companies on the list. And President Obama himself has made a very clear statement supporting carbon pricing. You know the complexities of getting a nation state like the United States to sign onto an agreement through the various legislative channels are frankly a little bit beyond me, but we know that despite the fact that as a country they haven’t signed on, in so many other ways, American citizens, American states, and the president of the United States himself have been very positive about this statement.QUESTION: If I can follow up, how do you explain that they didn’t sign? How do you explain this reluctance?DR. KIM: You know, I don’t know Jeremy, but it’s a good question that you should ask them directly Show Less -
MODERATOR: Why don't you ask questions, and just identify from where you're from.QUESTION: [Unclear] Sue Lannin from the ABC. Why did you ask, why did the world wait so long to respond to Ebola? Are y... Show More +ou disappointed it's taken so long?DR. KIM: Well what we've learned is that this Ebola crisis today is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Every single Ebola outbreak before has been in rural areas and we've been able to move in and very quickly bring it under control. So already more people have died as a result of this Ebola outbreak than all the Ebola outbreaks in history combined. Also, the infections are growing at a very alarming rate and they're now - we now hear that the number of people infected with Ebola is doubling every three weeks.Now again, the good news is that if we get the kind of comprehensive response that I was talking about earlier, we make sure that we can prevent all of these new - any new infection; make sure that every single person has access to good quality care that includes intravenous hydration, management of electrolytes. If we can do that, then we can really stop it right now.Now again, the thing I worry most about is if we don't have a response that's adequate and really able to cover everybody, then this could get much, much worse. So this has surprised everyone. None of us thought that Ebola could look like it's looking right now. But again, we have a window of opportunity. We can stop this thing in its tracks, but everybody has to move right now.QUESTION: How long do you estimate is this window of opportunity?DR. KIM: Well you know we feel like in order to avoid the worst effects, in the next four to six months we really have to bring it under control.QUESTION: Countries that have given money, do you think that they should send personnel as well?DR. KIM: Well I think that the countries that are sending personnel, we're very grateful. The one - the most important thing though is that the World Health Organization has to come out with a standardized approach to providing care, and they're doing it right now. In fact, I was just on the phone in an airport lounge with the chief of the cabinet of the World Health Organization and we were talking back and forth about what the elements and what it's going to look like. I think within the next week you'll have a very clear algorithmic approach to responding and once you have that and we put in place the things we need to train anybody, I think that more personnel will be welcome.Now the problem though is it can't be done helter skelter. It has to be done in an organized way. Everyone has to learn what the procedures are. Everyone has to learn about how to prevent the spread of infection. Then at that point, then I think it could work very, very well. We're focusing though on making sure that health workers in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone from those countries have all the training and tools that they need. That's really the first priority.QUESTION: Between Ebola and geopolitics, what do you think is the greatest risk to the G20's growth target going ahead and what do countries need to do most urgently?DR. KIM: Well you know, there's - I would say there's no one thing. So Ebola, if we don't get it under control, if the response falls apart, then it really could be a risk for the entire world. Certainly it will be a risk for West Africa if we don't get it under control. Now again, the good news is, we have all the tools to get it under control so I'm optimistic that we'll do that.The biggest risk to economic growth, there are several. There are lots of downside risks. Especially the developing countries are very concerned about the removal of the unconventional monetary policies of the United States. And that looks like it's going to start happening sometime in the middle of next year, but Janet Yellen has been very clear with communicating well ahead of time, and what we're saying is that especially for developing countries, if they continue with structural reforms, they'll be able to prepare themselves for the eventual unwinding of the unconventional monetary policies.You know, I'm worried about future epidemics. One of the things that we have to do is think about, if we had an influenza pandemic, if we had another SARS- like pandemic, would we be ready? And I think we need to think about that.Climate change is another issue that we have to be concerned about. When we think about shocks to the global economy, we don't always think about pandemics or climate change, but I think now we have to. We have to think about whether we're going to be prepared for that.QUESTION: Are you concerned that climate change…QUESTION: How do you rate Ebola becoming a pandemic? You were talking about it spreading to East Africa and beyond East Africa, beyond the African continent?DR. KIM: Well you know in - Ebola in the form that it is now is relatively difficult to transmit. There was an Ebola patient who came to the United States, but because every hospital in the United States uses universal precautions, nobody else was infected. Now the concern though of course is that the longer it stays in human beings and the more people get infected, the more chance the virus has to mutate. This is the concern.But that concern - again it's the same solution. The same solution is prevent new infections and treat everyone who is sick. So as long as Ebola doesn't mutate and we get the response out then I'm not very concerned, but we've got to move and we've got to move now.[Over speaking]QUESTION: Who's going to manage (inaudible) who.DR. KIM: Well the good news for me is that the Secretary General has really stepped up. He's put together an outstanding team. That team is coordinating very closely with the Americans, with the UK, with the French, with all the different groups that are involved, coordinating with us very closely. For something like this, this is no longer just a health emergency. It's a food security emergency. It's a security emergency. Because it's in - because it has so many dimensions right now, it's entirely appropriate for the Secretary General himself to be at the at the center of it and the fact that he's stepped up I think is really important.QUESTION: Are you concerned that climate change is not on the G20 agenda and the Australian Treasurer has ruled it out?DR. KIM: Well you know climate change is an extremely important issue for us at the World Bank group and next week, there will be a climate summit. So I don't think that climate is being ignored. The climate summit on the 23rd of this month is unprecedented, More than 125 heads of state will be getting together. They'll be making announcements about what they're planning to do to combat climate change. We're going to be going into the meeting and we think that there's been tremendous progress on issues like a price on carbon, tremendous progress on the preservation of forests, on building cleaner, more livable cities.So there's a lot going on in climate change and so I wouldn't say that the issue of climate change is being ignored, not at all. It's just that right now the UN's taking the lead on it.QUESTION: Do you have a comment on the shutdown in Sierra Leone in relation to the Ebola, the shutdown in Sierra Leone. I think some people are staying in their homes…DR. KIM: Yes. So I mentioned it earlier, but there - with every great outbreak, there are two contagions. The one is of the actual virus. And then the other is the fear related to the virus. So that's what - it's not just happening in Sierra Leone, it's happening everywhere. So the mines have shut down. People have left their fields and so the impact on the economy is enormous.The only way things will get back to normal is if they feel that we're now competent at preventing new infections and that no matter where you are, you can get effective treatment for Ebola. So that's what has to happen and once we do that, we think that the people of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will go back to work, will go back to their homes, go back to their villages. That's what we need to do.So if you look back at SARS for example. That was a terrible epidemic, 800 people died. The cost was $40 billion, in terms of economic productivity. So already more than 800 people have died from Ebola and yet because it's spread so much more slowly, it's not yet had like a $40 billion impact. But the whole point is that the only way to stop that second contagion which is the fear that leads to the great economic losses and people staying in their homes, is to get the treatment out.You know, pay attention over the next week, week and a half, you should be seeing announcements about very effective protocols that we're going to scale up everywhere. Thank you very much. Show Less -