World Bank: Rich nations have moral duty to help 'sinking' island nations

worldbank-support[1]Eric Worrall writes: Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change, claims that rich nations have a moral duty to help island nations survive climate change.

According to Ms Kyte; “For some of the islands, we’re really talking about the extreme effects of climate change now, which are going to put their entire cultures in jeopardy within the foreseeable future. We have an obligation to help build these countries’ resilience. Some will argue that this is an actual issue of justice and an actual issue of rights” given the role rich nations have played in emitting greenhouse gas emissions to “poison” the atmosphere”

Story here:

The word “moral”, as ever, is a politician speak demand for more of our money. But the article does end on an amusing note – as evidence for the urgency of the demand for cash, the author cites a report suggesting “a thinning of Antarctica’s grounded and floating ice, with the annual loss in the order of 350 gigatonnes as the planet warms up”.


See related WUWT story on Antarctica here

For a tutorial on why these islands aren’t ‘sinking” or being inundated by sea level rise due to global warming, see this excellent essay by Willis Eschenbach.


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September 1, 2014 3:58 am

Ah yes, world bank, directly implicated in two Climategate II emails.
I shall give the matter all due consideration…
The round wicker filing cabinet may be appropriate.

Reply to  Konrad.
September 5, 2014 6:38 am

In a unicorn’s eye gentlemen. Even pigs won’t offer their eyes for this one.

September 1, 2014 4:08 am

The AGW machinery is “tightening the belts” prior to Paris 2015. It is a race against the clock as nature ( the climate) is not obliging.

September 1, 2014 4:12 am

I suppose it’s the weight of all those concrete runways the sinking islands are having forced on them by the evil feckless 1st world that’s causing all the problems?

Reply to  grumpyoldmanuk
September 1, 2014 4:50 am

My concern is, if two or three aircraft full of tourists are sitting on the runway at once, the island might tip over. It is a dicey situation, after all.

September 1, 2014 4:12 am

Let us all collectively give the World Bank the BIRD.

Patrick Adelaide
September 1, 2014 4:16 am

One of my Maldivian friends posted this on facebook today. It is a very interesting proposal but, as I mentioned on FB, makes a mockery of the Maldivian government’s stand on global warming induced sea-level rise. Disclaimer: I love Maldives. My wife is Maldivian and my kids are moldy-aussies. It is a great country with wonderful people. Like everywhere else nowadays, the government is full of self-interest.

Reply to  Patrick Adelaide
September 1, 2014 4:28 am

Hilarious 🙂

Reply to  Patrick Adelaide
September 1, 2014 9:59 am

Wow. Not one mention of fresh water, but it seems to me they’ll be able to bring it in (and out?) by tanker.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Patrick Adelaide
September 1, 2014 12:33 pm

I looked at all the development planned in that Maldives video and thought: tsunami bait.
When I checked the damage from the 2004 tsunami, however, I discovered that wave height at the Maldives was only about 1/5 the height at Thailand
because they are the tippy tips of tall mountains in a very deep ocean. So the death toll in the Maldives was “only” 80 people.
Gee, I can’t wait to invest my “denier” check from Big Oil! 🙂

Ray Boorman
Reply to  Patrick Adelaide
September 2, 2014 12:15 am

Patrick, the iHavan proposal sounds wonderful. I think I’ll invest a billion or 2. On a serious note, their carbon footprint will be the size of the Indian Ocean, & their fresh water requirements will be a Lake Erie every year if it comes to fruition. Not bad for a country that a few years ago publicised their plight with an underwater cabinet meeting. Hypocrasy knows no bounds.

September 1, 2014 4:22 am

Spare a penny G’vnor?

Reply to  Pointman
September 1, 2014 4:26 am

I’m all out of love, so don’t even start on the nickels or dimes…

M Courtney
September 1, 2014 4:33 am

Were it true the rich and powerful nations would have a moral duty to defend the poor and weak.
It is only wrong because the islands aren’t sinking.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  M Courtney
September 1, 2014 5:10 am

Nations do not have morals. The sea level has been rising for 10,000 years and they are still there.

Clovis Marcus
September 1, 2014 4:38 am

Dear Islands,
if all these things are true you can have a bit of cash:
You have not allowed the residential development of under land 5m elevation since 2000
You can show that tourist developments since 2000 can pay back before your projections say they will sink
You have invested more in sea defences and SLR mitigation than your government spends on air travel
You can provide evidence of material damage from sea encroachment due to SLR between 2000 and now
The World Bank

Mike T
September 1, 2014 4:39 am
Ian W
Reply to  Mike T
September 1, 2014 4:56 am

The obvious response is to agree that finance should be given to any sinking island nations. Then to state that as there are no island nations that are sinking, no finance will be necessary.

September 1, 2014 4:51 am

I’m all for climate justice. Canada should have some of Arizona’s heat. Let’s start there.

Bill Illis
September 1, 2014 4:58 am

The World Bank is a good example of what happens to an organization when it is captured by an intense global warming believer. The new President since July 1, 2012, is Jim Yong Kim of the US who has decided to turn the infrastructure-financing-mandate of the World Bank into his own personal climate-change-pulpit which also entails using all the resources available through the World Bank.

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 1, 2014 7:03 am

There is nothing “moral’ about the World Banks interest in all this.

During COP-16 in Cancun, the matter of governing the GCF was entrusted to the newly founded Green Climate Fund Board, and the World Bank was chosen as the temporary trustee.[6] To develop a design for the functioning of the GCF, the ‘Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund’ was established in Cancun too. The committee met four times throughout the year 2011, and submitted a report to the 17th COP in Durban, South Africa. Based on this report, the COP decided that the ‘GCF would become an operating entity of the financial mechanism’ of the UNFCCC,[

As a part of the UN it will be outside the legislation of any country in the world. A law unto itself with NO accountability.
The $100 BILLION PER YEAR EVERY YEAR slush fund to be run without any legal oversight or accountability.
UN Gen Pres Kim Ban Moon got to chose where the HQ of the fund would be officially housed. He chose well-known centre of finance, philanthropy and international humanitarian aid work: Seoul Korean.
Was that an accident or could it have something to do with Pres. Moon’s nationality?
” The new President since July 1, 2012, is Jim Yong Kim of the US …..”
Of the U.S? hmm, sounds more like, dare I say, a korean name to me.
Controlling that kind of budget entails enormous influence and power. That it be beyond all legal control, what could possibly go wrong. Expect the corruption process to PRECEDE it’s foundation.
For the pres. of the WB not to be pushing as hard as he can to put this fund in place it like expecting the IRS to argue against taxation.
There’s nothing about “saving the planet” or drowning islands in all this, it’s all about money, power and influence.

September 1, 2014 5:03 am

August 31: Per JAXA data first increase in ice cover for the 2014 Arctic melt season.

Reply to  dipchip
September 1, 2014 11:12 am


September 1, 2014 5:17 am

At least the Maldives are building lots of new airports as a very clear and foresighted contingency.

Eric the halibut
Reply to  jones
September 1, 2014 6:13 am

Would this be the same World Bank which is currently funding the upgrades to the international airports on Kiribati to the tune of some $24 million? Interestingly the only talk of resettlement is in relation to land acquisition around the airports. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the airliners bringing in the tourists and their cash were the instruments that led to the island disappearing beneath the waves.

Reply to  Eric the halibut
September 1, 2014 7:10 am

The real threat to these islands is over population and over development.
They are doing their utmost to exploit their fragile ecology to death for short term financial gain and will then come howling to the UN for “reparation payments” when it all collapses.
Doubtless the loss of the newly expanded multi-billion pound dollar tourist industry will be part of the “insurance” claim.

Reply to  jones
September 1, 2014 2:28 pm

Makes sure that – if the decent science is wrong – Maldivians can fly out if the coral uplift doesn’t equal or exceed the SLR.

September 1, 2014 5:19 am

When it sinks, we’ll give them a spot. But they’re not getting speculative money BEFORE the event. (And how would money help?? They would cease all development in preparation for abandonment, right?)

September 1, 2014 5:22 am

In 2001 The Guardian waved goodbye to Tuvalu:
The Tuvalu Government’s site today – ‘timeless Tuvalu’:
Willis was right!
The Global warming gravy train is understandably tempting for these islands but there is only standing room left, because renewable energy companies and climate scientists have already grabbed the best seats.

Reply to  Old'un
September 1, 2014 6:22 am

Any chance we can wave goodbye (and good riddance) to the Grauniad?

Reply to  Jeff
September 1, 2014 8:52 am

Unlikely. Apart from anything else it would leave Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham talking to the wall, which would constitute cruelty to Propagandists.

Reply to  Jeff
September 1, 2014 2:30 pm

September 1, 2014 at 8:52 am
Unlikely. Apart from anything else it would leave Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham talking to the wall, which would constitute cruelty to Propagandists.
Looks like cruelty to the wall, too, from here.

September 1, 2014 5:28 am

Ever notice that the sea level rise rhetoric far, FAR and away outpaces the actual rise in sea levels. You’d think from these articles that sea level was rising nine inches per year instead of nine inches per century. And that’s pretty much the rate of rise for centuries now, and well before “climate disruption” started.

September 1, 2014 5:29 am

World Bank: Rich nations have moral duty to help ‘sinking’ island nations

Here is an example of a sinking island helping themselves (with other’s cash of course).

Paul Homewood – September 19, 2013
“Maldives Building Five More Underwater Airports”
NoTricksZone – 3. November 2013
Developers Dismiss Sea Level Rise Claims – Plan To Build 30 New Luxury Hotels In The Maldives – Nasheed’s Cash Machine
…..In 2012 former President of the Maldive Islands Mohamed Nasheed said: “If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years.”…..

Can I say low carbon footprint on tourist flights to the Maldives? Of course I can’t. Here is something else tourists are adding to. It’s not pretty.

BBC – 19 May 2012
‘Apocalyptic’ island of waste in the Maldives
….The Maldives’ government told the BBC they were looking at ways to tackle their waste problem…..

By bringing in more tourists. LOL. This is a con job my friends.

Bruce Cobb
September 1, 2014 5:29 am

Clueless Kyte needs to know that every time she breathes out, she is “poisoning” the atmosphere. She needs to remedy that.

September 1, 2014 5:35 am

Most coral island atolls would do just fine with current rates of sea level rise. They have been doing so for many hundreds of years. Here are factors that can hinder the natural rise of coral island atolls, causing them to ‘sink’. More money will just make things worse! New hotels and more runways!

Abstract – 16 November 2007
Ian White et. al.
Challenges in freshwater management in low coral atolls
…..Storm surges and over-extractions cause seawater intrusion, while human settlements and agriculture can pollute shallow groundwaters. Limited land areas restrict freshwater quantities, particularly in frequent ENSO-related droughts. Demand for freshwater is increasing and availability is extremely limited……
Abstract – 2006
Three-Dimensional Imaging of Lagoon Aggregate Extraction and Resources: Case Study from Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
Carbonate sediments are the sole indigenous source of aggregate for infrastructure development on many Pacific islands, and their importance has increased markedly since the middle of the last century. Biogenic gravel and sand are extracted in many places by dredging of shallow lagoons and by the mining of beach deposits….
Abstract – 2010
Impacts of Recreational Divers on Palauan Coral Reefs and Options for Management
…Guides identified natural impacts (63% of respondents) and divers (34% of respondents) as the primary causes of damage to coral….
Abstract – 7 Jun 2010
Donovan Storeya et. al.
Kiribati: an environmental ‘perfect storm’
….Pollution of the groundwater, lagoon and near-shore reef areas as well as over-extraction of freshwater from groundwater sources have been consistent problems in water management. Most pollution is …
[Google search snippet – quote in PDF]
Paper 5: Status of Coral Mining in the Maldives: Impacts and Management Options
…There are many problems associated with the current mining practices. Biological surveys of mined sites indicate mat the coral diversity and abundance have been decreased dramatically. In addition to this, little recovery was seen at sites intensively mined over 16 years ago…
Coral mining is a questionable activity with respect to maintaining the reefs in equilibrium.

September 1, 2014 5:46 am

Leaked cables explains Maldives’ attitude. MONEY.

Guardian – Dec 3, 2010
WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord
Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord
…….Getting as many countries as possible to associate themselves with the accord strongly served US interests, by boosting the likelihood it would be officially adopted. A diplomatic offensive was launched. Diplomatic cables flew thick and fast between the end of Copenhagen in December 2009 and late February 2010, when the leaked cables end.
Some countries needed little persuading. The accord promised $30bn (£19bn) in aid for the poorest nations hit by global warming they had not caused. Within two weeks of Copenhagen, the Maldives foreign minister, Ahmed Shaheed, wrote to the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, expressing eagerness to back it.
By 23 February 2010, the Maldives’ ambassador-designate to the US, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, told the US deputy climate change envoy, Jonathan Pershing, his country wanted “tangible assistance”, saying other nations would then realise “the advantages to be gained by compliance” with the accord……
Guardian – 3 December 2010
US embassy cables: Maldives tout $50m climate projects to US

September 1, 2014 5:55 am

What about my climate rights? It’s been a lousy summer

September 1, 2014 6:00 am

September 1, 2014 at 5:22 am
“In 2001 The Guardian waved goodbye to Tuvalu:

The Guardian doesn’t even know that Bangladesh is in a subsiding river delta?

September 1, 2014 6:23 am

The apocalyptic rise temperature we are experiencing, and an article in The Guardian by Mr. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme led me to review the whole sea level rise problem and I concluded YOU should indeed donate to help those poor islanders.
To help you understand the seriousness of this situation and how YOU must unite to help me fight this problem I have written this apeal
In which I explain the enormous crisis faced by a small group of islanders I want to help.

Reply to  Fernando Leanme
September 1, 2014 6:46 am

Good one… I think the pigeon pinched that book from the UN, er, World Bank….. 🙂

ferd berple
Reply to  Fernando Leanme
September 1, 2014 9:02 am

You have a fantastic idea. Form a tax exempt charity, and donate 100% of your income to the charity, so that you pay no taxes.
The purpose of the charity is to provide for those that have taken a vow of perpetual poverty, that donate 100% of their income to the charity. Thus, you will head the line of the people deserving of the charity’s support.
Viola, you have no income to be taxed. The aid you receive from a charity is tax exempt, since it was not earned income. The charity itself is non-profit and tax exempt.

September 1, 2014 6:40 am

Interesting running down all the links from some of Ms. Kyte’s bios….all these organizations, UN groups, NGOs, etc., are joined together like some sort of evil enviro-ivy. The watermelons (and community organizers, etc.) are masters of networking and influence-peddling.
We need to do something to counter this….
You can lead someone to truth, but you can’t make them think….

September 1, 2014 6:41 am

Tune has been rattling around in my head (lot of empty space in there 🙂 )…
For the benefit of Rachel Kyte
There will be a show tonight
In Maldives….
(I’m sure someone can figure out more/better words…)

September 1, 2014 8:04 am

I agree completely with the need for the rich countries to help the ‘sinking islands’. It is our duty to buy them out wholesale (say at about 10 ¢ on the Dollar as they are a distressed property). We can even pay the expenses of relocation for all the local population to some higher elevation. Say around Mount Kilimajaro where it’s nice, high, and safe.
The newly acquired islands ought to be used as a penal colony of sorts for all Climate Skeptics. Anyone who has publicly published or run a blog expressing a skeptical position ought to be assigned a small compound (say about an acre with a 2000 sq ft house) facing the beach where they can be forced to endure the rapidly approaching water…
(Do I really need to put a /sarc; or /irony; tag on this?… 😉

Reply to  E.M.Smith
September 1, 2014 8:18 am

Yours is a very reactionary post driven by the Koch brothers’ interest in investing in Pacific island penal colonies.

Reply to  E.M.Smith
September 1, 2014 9:08 am

Canada should buy a bunch of these tropical islands outright; make them our newest territory. There is plenty of land in Nunavut for resettlement.
You can expect to see thousands of Canadians flocking their in winter to escape Global Warming. To the tropical islands, that is. Don’t expect many to flock to Nunavut in winter.

Reply to  E.M.Smith
September 1, 2014 9:12 am

Packing my bags

September 1, 2014 8:56 am

Brings new meaning to the expression “lift up the poor”.

September 1, 2014 10:49 am

World Bank…part of the problem and part of the solution! I took the Coursera Course, “Turn Down the Heat…” sponsored by the World Bank and have modified the final course assignment into a critical evaluation of the course. You can find it here-
Doug Allen

Reply to  Doug Allen
September 1, 2014 11:48 am

I left you a comment suggesting you also check and discuss the IPCC representative concentration pathways.

Reply to  Fernando Leanme
September 1, 2014 3:06 pm

Thank you Fernando. I agree that it is useful to hypothesize different emission trajectories over time based on energy sources and consumption (and other factors such as land use) in order to relate those trajectories to different scenarios of warming and climate change. Interesting exercise for looking at possible trajectories and planning for contingencies, but so many assumptions, so very many. In my critique I concentrate on one such assumption, climate sensitivity and the very great difference between a sensitivity of 1.5 which is and 4.5 degrees C. That 3-fold difference is the main difference between a benign and a catastrophic warming based on any substantial emissions increase. The fact that a World Bank climate course omits mention of climate sensitivity and their own high sensitivity assumption, especially when climate scientists and the IPCC itself are lowering sensitivity estimates is, well, astounding and a disservice to those who who took the course. I don’t know if they have changed the course since February when I took it to see the rationale for their alarmism.
For those who don’t think climate sensitivity is a constant, I agree we don’t know, but it is an index like global temperature that can be usefully applied to empirical temperature data.
I doubt much disagreement between Anthony and me- , we rich nations do indeed have a responsibility to poor nations should sea level rise cause them harm- whatever the underlying cause- but this is just a continuation of the help we always give when disaster strikes. There is presently so little sea level rise that there is no urgency, and the World Bank is just crying wolf one more time, just as they do in the course I review. What happens when you cry wolf over and over? You get division, alarmism, polarity, extremism, cynicism- everything that makes for disfunction. Unlike many here, I think most of these alarmists are truly scared (and truly ignorant of the data and science) and not just scamming.

george e. smith
September 1, 2014 12:17 pm

Nonsense !
Mother Gaia, is quite happy to have everything responsible for its own survival.
There is no moral imperative to use resources to promote the survival of competitors.
But when it comes to human invention of “humanity”. One has to assure, and work to ensure one’s own survival, before one is even able to help others, who might need (but are not owed) a helping hand.

J Calvert N(UK)
September 1, 2014 12:32 pm

It’s a bit ‘rich’ for a BANKER to lecture the rest of us about moral duties!

Reply to  J Calvert N(UK)
September 1, 2014 1:17 pm

“Do as I say, not as I do” It’s the Progressive way.

Doug Proctor
September 1, 2014 1:47 pm

Here’s a wonder:
By paying the islands, do we, the First (and Bad) World acttually gain regulatory control over the shore-not-shore maintenance, modification and usage? Would we be expected to pay damages to islanders who do not mitigate or adapt appropriately?
Perhaps Agenda 21 and UNFCC long-term thinking is “yes”, that taking our money gives the UN the authority to control the behaviour, taxes and all sorts of regulatory issues with Vannanatu and other Islands.
Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head for the Islanders who think we’re just handing cash overr, and a score for the World Order guys?

September 1, 2014 2:34 pm

I’ve got a much better idea. Just sell the island. Put it up for auction. My guess is you’ll find plenty of hotel developers whose business sense extends beyond their political correctness.

September 1, 2014 3:46 pm

How do you get a job like Rachel Kyte’s – the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change? I’m sure her job description must include promoting the need for rich nations to give to the poor, based on the supposed threats of climate change. If warming doesn’t happen, she’s out of a nice job that no doubt includes traveling the world first class and staying in five star hotels, preaching the climate religion.
Rachel Kyte is the World Bank Group’s vice president and special envoy for climate change. She oversees work on climate change adaptation, mitigation, climate finance, and disaster risk and resilience across the institutions of the World Bank Group, including IBRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA.
The climate group is focused on ensuring that all Bank Group operations integrate climate change and take into account the opportunities that inclusive green growth presents. The group is also an advocate for global climate action.
Ms. Kyte previously served as World Bank vice president for sustainable development and was the International Finance Corporation’s vice president for business advisory services and a member of IFC’s management team.
She is a professor of practice in sustainable development at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University, and a bachelor’s degree in history and politics from the University of London.
Her tweets certainly show her advocacy positions rkyte365 – she is a committed warmista.

Mark Bofill
September 1, 2014 4:37 pm

That so.
Well, lets see. The West is led by the U.S., which is reviled by the have nots of the world (surprise surprise). Some call us the Great Satan as a matter of fact.
So somebody clue me in and explain why I should lose a moment’s sleep or pay one red cent for these islanders?
How would it help them again? The islanders like those on the Maldives, who I read are building FIVE airports to support climate tourism, would it help them build an extra concourse do you think?
Why would my money help? Is the plan to bribe the ocean to quit rising? The ocean that’s been rising since before we’ve started burning fossil fuels on any significant scale, that ocean?
No. It’s not moral. It’s a racket. Even if it were moral, I wouldn’t care. Even if I cared, this wouldn’t be the way to solve the problem. If there were a problem to begin with.

September 1, 2014 6:49 pm

When the island nations actually start sinking we might start helping them out.
But since islands don’t generally float on the water they don’t generally sink either.

September 1, 2014 7:03 pm

How do you stop subsidence – remove all their irrigation and water pumping capacity? Take away the fishing equipment they use to kill off the parrot fish? Force them to stop cutting channels through their reefs? Attach floatation devices (Hank Johnson sky anchors)? Or just remove the people from the islands until the islands have recovered naturally? It worked for No Bikini Atoll (Map here –

September 1, 2014 8:23 pm

Well, those “island nations” aren’t really sinking.
But maybe we are supposed to help Japan. The 3/11 earthquake caused a coast to drop about a meter (that and the 3 extra meters of Tsunami height contributed to the inundation). That is a sinking island. Not that anything related to climate will change that.

September 2, 2014 12:39 am

Rich nations have moral duty to help ‘sinking’ island nations”
So UK wants China to help them ??

more soylent green!
September 2, 2014 7:18 am

Ping pong ball! Use ping pong balls to keep them from sinking.

September 3, 2014 2:32 am

World Bank, Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, Federal Reserve… is always about running up perpetual debts with these people…..debts that THEY earn interest on for their own pockets.

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