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By Sebastien Malo
NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Climate
change could plunge tens of millions of city dwellers into
poverty in the next 15 years, threatening to undo decades of
development efforts, the World Bank said on Wednesday.
Fast-growing cities particularly in the developing world are
ill-prepared to deal with increasing climate-related disasters,
according to a joint report by the Bank and the Global Facility
for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), which the Bank
Globally more than one billion people - or one in seven
people - live on less than $1.25 a day. But that figure could
increase by 77 million people by 2030, unless cities planned
better for climate-linked disasters, the World Bank said.
The Washington D.C.-based institution called on governments
to speed up investments in projects that shield the cities'
poorest from the effects of climate change, such as sea-level
"Investing today in resilience measures is fundamental to
secure a safe and prosperous future for cities around the world
and for people living in them," Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, a senior
director at the Bank, told a press conference.
"We're approaching a tipping point for the safety of cities
all over the world."
Experts say securing new urban infrastructure against
increasing climate risks will come with a price tag of roughly
$1 trillion a year worldwide, according to the Bank.
Failure to make these investments could cost cities $314
billion a year from $250 billion per year today, the Bank said.
To help pay the bill, additional private investment will be
needed to beef up funds available publicly, the Bank said.
The World Bank's warning came ahead of a U.N. conference on
housing and sustainable urban development next week in Ecuador,
which aims to set out guidelines for sustainable cities over the
next 20 years.
(Reporting by Sebastien Malo, Editing by Katie Nguyen.; Please
credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of
Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights,
trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)