WORLD DEVELOpMENT REpORT 2010
cutting their own emissions by reshaingtheir built and economic environments.They also need to romote and fnance thetransition to low-carbon growth in develo-ing countries. Better alication o knownractices and undamental transorma-tions—in natural resource management,energy rovision, urbanization, social saety nets, international fnancial transers, tech-nological innovation, and governance, bothinternational and national—are needed tomeet the challenge.Increasing eole’s oortunities andmaterial well-being without underminingthe sustainability o develoment is stillthe main challenge or large swaths o theworld, as a severe fnancial and economiccrisis wreaks havoc across the globe. Stabi-lizing the fnancial markets and rotectingthe real economy, labor markets, and vul-nerable grous are the immediate riority.But the world must exloit this moment o oortunity or international cooerationcomel bold actions. The strong inertia inthe climate system, in the built environ-ment, and in the behavior o individualsand institutions requires that this action beurgent and immediate.Over the ast two centuries the directbenefts o carbon-intensive develomenthave been concentrated largely in today’shigh-income countries. The inequity inthe global distribution o ast and currentemissions, and in current and uture dam-ages, is stark (fgure 1.1; see also ocus A fg-ure FA.6 and the overview). But i countriesare willing to act, the economic incentivesor a global deal exist.The window o oortunity to choosethe right olicies to deal with climatechange and romote develoment is clos-ing. The urther countries go along currentemissions trajectories, the harder it will beto reverse course and alter inrastructures,economies, and liestyles. High-incomecountries must ace head-on the task o
120 million60 million450 million60 million400 million200 million
INDUS GANGES BRAHMAPUTRAGANGES- BRAHMAPUTRADELTAYANGTZE MEKONG HWANG HE SALWEEN IRRAWADDY
35 million150 million20 million
0–1001001–2000101–250>2000251–500No data501–1000River basinsRiversGlaciers
Population density (persons/sq. km)
Map 1.1 More than a billion people depend on water from diminishing Himalayan glaciers
: Center or International Earth Science Inormation Network, http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/global.jsp (accessedMay 15, 2009); Armstrong and others 2005; ESRI 2002; WDR team.
: The glaciers o the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau regulate the supply o water throughout the year in major river basinssupporting large agricultural and urban populations, with meltwater providing between 3 and 45 percent o river ow in the Gan-ges and Indus, respectively. Reduced storage as ice and snowpack will result in larger ows and ooding during rainy monthsand water shortages during warmer, drier months when water is most needed or agriculture. Glacier locations shown in the maponly include glaciers larger than 1.5 sq. km in area. Numbers indicate how many people live in each river basin.