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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 22:59 GMT 23:59 UK
World Bank 'must act on climate'
Power station in the UK's East Midlands
Mr Benn wants the World Bank to set carbon limits
The World Bank needs to set bold new targets to help tackle climate change, UK International Development Secretary Hilary Benn has said.

Speaking ahead of Word Bank meetings in Washington at the weekend, he wants to see new global levels for investment in renewables and energy efficiency.

Mr Benn also wants extra funds available to help poorer nations adapt.

He said the scale of the problem of global warming needed to be "matched by the size and strength" of the Bank.

'Helping poorer nations'

Mr Benn is due to outline his proposals in a speech this morning at the School of Oriental And African Studies in London.

Hilary Benn
Mr Benn says the World Bank needs to take the lead

He is also calling on the Bank to expand its work on rainforest protection by piloting new ways to provide alternative incomes for people living in rainforests, rather than cutting them down.

Mr Benn said the World Bank's priorities should include:

  • Setting new targets for reducing carbon emissions
  • Higher targets for investment in renewable energy, such as wind and solar power
  • Investment in energy in the world's poorest countries
  • Helping developing countries shift to a low carbon economy
  • Help for countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as investment in alternative crops
  • "We know that continuing our current pattern of energy use will have devastating consequences for the Earth's climate and people's lives," said Mr Benn.

    "The Bank should play the leading role in promoting cleaner and more efficient approaches, not just in energy - but in transport, carbon-efficient buildings and protecting forests too."

    He added that the UK was ready to do its part through the new 800m Environmental Transformation Fund.

    Recently announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown, it will provide resources for a range of activities being financed under the UK's Clean Energy Investment Framework.

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