A World Bank survey on sustainable development found that a majority of respondents favoured the UN over the World Bank.
The survey was commissioned by the World Development Movement, an advocacy group for global development.
“The results of the survey are striking,” the survey’s lead author, Dr. Andrew Jepsen, told The Hindu.
“While both the World Financial Forum and the UN have strong credentials on sustainable management of resources, they have very different approaches to the global commons.”
The survey found that while 70 per cent of respondents favour a global tax on greenhouse gases, the UN has a more holistic approach.
The UN has identified the carbon footprint of all the goods produced worldwide as a measure of how sustainable they are.
The World Bank has a different view on this.
It believes that the value of the world’s resources should be determined not by how much carbon they emit, but how much they contribute to the world economy.
“They think the world is rich because it is rich in natural resources, and not because it has a carbon footprint,” said Jepson.
The world has produced about 6.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide since 1750, according to the UN.
That’s equivalent to all the carbon emitted by China in less than four years.
“If the world were to be carbon neutral, we would have to stop producing a lot more stuff,” Jeps said.
“It is not a zero-sum game, it is a trade-off.”
The UN’s World Resources Institute estimates that if the world was to halt production of coal and oil by 2050, the value-added of its own resources would fall by more than 50 per cent.
The WWF-led group argues that this is a huge opportunity for the global community to make significant investments in the planet’s carbon budget.
It says that while the world could make significant cuts to its emissions, it would do so at a price far lower than the cost of its emissions.
“By 2050, if we were to continue the same carbon-dioxide level, we’d have a price of $35 to $60 a tonne.
That would be the cheapest price to pay for avoiding global warming, which is one of the biggest threats to the future of the planet,” said Greenpeace campaigner Tom Steyn.”
We can make big changes to the way we consume and use energy but we can’t stop the burning of fossil fuels, we can only stop the price of their production going up.”
In order to have a fair trade, we need to keep burning fossil fuels.