World Bank releases decarbonisation guide

Countries could reduce the cost of decarbonisation by a third by enacting green policies immediately, according to a new report from the World Bank.

The Decarbonising Development report lays out three steps for countries to follow in order for the planet to produce zero net emission by 2100.

The steps include establishing a carbon price, providing support for those most affected by climate change, and setting defined targets.

But, the primary message is the need for immediate action. Citing the IPCC, the report said that if mitigation is postponed until 2030, costs of decarbonisation would rise an average 50% for the 2030-50 period, and 40% for 2050-2100.


It argues that delaying green policies can ‘lock in’ pollution problems. For example a failure to invest now, in developing new technologies such as carbon capture and storage, may mean they are not available by mid-century when they are needed.

Likewise, trying to retrofit a low-density city to make it more carbon efficient and suitable for public transit is “extremely difficult, as city managers around the United States are finding out,” said the report.

“Some will say that waiting can also save money: as technologies evolve, they improve, become more affordable, and open up new option.” said the report. “But if everyone waits, those technologies will not be invented, and they certainly will neither improve nor become more affordable.

Starting point

The guidelines comes ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Paris at the end of this year, where countries will try and negotiate an international deal on emissions restrictions.

Nicholas Stern has already warned that the emissions pledges of the EU, China and the US are not sufficient to mitigate the risk of climate change.

The full World Bank report is available here.

edie staff

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