Do you know, I’m reasonably sure that this isn’t true:
This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what
scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.
For the world to warm that much one of two things would have to be true.
1) Climate sensitivity would have to be at the top end of the current estimated range. Say, a 4 oC rise from a doubling of CO2-e.
2) Emissions will have to be at the very top end of estimates. The extreme outliers in the various A1, A2 families etc.
At least, I think that’s roughly the situation. One or other of those would need to be true. And I’m absolutely certain that scientists are not nearly unanimously predicting one or the other. Because, you know, either of those are the extreme values of what scientists are predicting.
And even if it were true it’s not also necessarily true that serious policy changes are necessary. We really only need a change in the relative prices of fossil and renewable energy for the entire problem to go away. If renewables were cheaper than fossil then we’d all quite naturally gravitate to using them and the problem of fossil fuel derived emissions would be gone (or going).
Which leads to the question of whether serious policy changes are necessary to change those relative prices. Something which I’m entirely certain isn’t in fact necessary. Depends on the timescale you want to use.
For example, I think we could get unanimous agreement among technologists that within 50 years solar will be cheaper than oil, gas or coal. Without any policy changes at all: just that the technology will develop.
I think we’d also get unanimous agreement that solar isn’t (except for certain uses if you’re well off the grid) cheaper right now.
It’s possible that you’d need to do something if you wanted to insist that it must be so next year, or in three years time. Although I have my doubts about what could actually be done other than a bit of R&D money.
So I’m afraid that I’m really not in agreement with the World Bank here.