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Interview with AUCC Chairperson Carolyn Lamm Before 2012 Uzbekistan-US Annual Business Forum

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World Bank Calls for Europe and Central Asia to move from 'Brown' to 'Green' Growth

25 June 2013

The economic costs and social impacts of climate change threaten the prosperity of the Europe and Central Asia region. But well-designed climate action can bring numerous benefits, while also being cost-effective. A set of three World Bank reports launched today in Brussels with the European Commission focus on the 'here and now' of policies to fight climate change.

In 2010, a heat wave in Russia may have contributed to more than 50,000 deaths. In 2012, droughts destroyed over 50 percent of crops in Kazakhstan, 25 percent in Russia, and 20 percent in Ukraine. These weather events have been linked to climate change and are expected to occur more frequently in the future.

In recent years, some countries in the Europe and Central Asia region have been slow to respond to this challenge. The region remains the most energy-intensive in the world - using 50 percent more energy per unit of output than the global average. Fossil fuels comprise 88 percent of the energy supply in Europe and Central Asia. In fact, coal is the leading fuel for power generation even in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Poland, countries bound by the EU's 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels.

"The region has an opportunity to use this decade to move from 'brown' to 'green' growth, make production and consumption more sustainable, improve quality of life, and reduce impacts on the climate," stressed Uwe Deichmann, World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist, and co-author of the Growing Green: the Economic Benefits of Climate Action report.

The three new reports identify the local and immediate benefits of climate action.  Read more here.