Climate change and development are closely intertwined: economic growth has caused increasing greenhouse gas emissions which impact climate change, and climate change, in turn, has a significant negative impact on economic development. Lower-income countries are especially vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, the World Bank Group has recently published several Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs) that reflect on climate commitments, identify major climate change-related vulnerabilities, and suggest concrete short- and medium-term actions for a transition towards a resilient low-carbon economy. PBL evaluated four of these CCDRs in the context of other relevant studies and scientific standards.
CCDRs identify crucial measures to reduce emissions and improve adaptation
For each CCDR, diverse and complementary models tuned to the context of the respective country were employed to explore future developments and impacts of climate change under various scenarios. The CCDRs demonstrate the vulnerability of especially low-income countries and those with high poverty levels to the impacts of climate change. The CCDRs also demonstrate that such major threats can be reduced through adaptation measures and that climate goals can be achieved without compromising development.
More transparent methodology and uncertainty analysis would increase legitimacy and credibility
While the evaluated CCDRs were found to identify important policy actions for mitigation and adaptation, there is room for improvement by enhancing the transparency of the applied models and addressing uncertainty. Transparency could be improved by adding more information about the process of scenario development, the models employed, and other parts of the methodology. The uncertainty analysis could also be improved, especially with regard to the expected damage from climate change and the magnifying effects of delaying actions on climate change. There are also country-specific shortcomings, such as the fact that China’s CCDR hardly discusses adaptation support for smallholders in China, that climate migration is barely being addressed in the Sahel, that the vulnerability of youth in South Africa is neglected and that geographical challenges are not being addressed in Vietnam.