People switched off lights across the world on Saturday, dimming buildings, hotels, restaurants and bars to show concern at global warming.

Calling himself "just a politician' who was alarmed by the warnings that were coming to 10, Downing Street

The issue is often portrayed as a battle between the developed and the developing world. Wrong. It is something which affects us all and which we need to address together.

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran has been named the Prime Minister's special envoy on climate change.

Global warming is already taking its toll. In Darfur, where several hundred thousand people have died in recent years from the internal conflict, climate change has exacerbated water and land shortages (because of growing desertification), undermined agriculture, and fueled conflict over these scarce resources among the poor. March 2008

It Is not immediately obvious what role financial markets can play in addressing climate change. Climate change happens slowly and has a global impact on the physical environment, whereas financial markets react to news in fractions of a second and are almost liberated from specific physical locations. the low energy intensity of the financial sector means that reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would have little impact on the physical operations of financial markets and institutions. March 2008

Climate science tells that the earth is warming as a result of human activities. But considerable uncertainty regarding the precise nature and extent of the risks remains. Economists are needed to develop sensible policies to address these risks, which account for the uncertainties.

Addressing climate change and the economic damage it will likely bring presents policymakers with a dilemma. The benefits of policy action are uncertain and would accrue largely to future generations, whereas the costs of policies run the risk of being more immediate and extensive. At the same time, the costs of inaction are irreversible, potentially catastrophic, and likely to hit poorer countries harder than developed ones.

The proposed Strategic Framework on Climate Change and Development (SFCCD) will be a means to articulate the WBG's vision on how to integrate climate change and development challenges, without compromising growth and poverty reduction efforts through its country operations, including policy dialogue, lending, and analytical work in client countries, and through its regional and global operations.

This document focuses on the role of local institutions in adaptation to climate change. It does so under the belief that climate impacts will affect disadvantaged social groups more disproportionately, and that local institutions centrally influence how different social groups gain access to and are able to use assets and resources.

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