The World Bank is concerned about the effects of global warming and not in a distant-future sort of way. It believes climate change poses short-term risks and has begun dedicating billions of dollars to water management, flood prevention, and other projects to help “hotspots” like Bangkok, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where the threat of damage from climate change is exceptionally high. According to a new study released by the bank Wednesday, Ho Chi Minh City’s flood-control system, for example, is considered outdated and in need of a $2 billion makeover. It “was built for a scenario that no longer exists,” said the bank’s vice president for environmental and sustainable development. “The investment they made was obsolete.” The World Bank’s new spending initiative hopes to remedy other such systems in various hotspots that could become dangerous in the next 20 years or so.
PLANNING AHEAD Le Quang Nhat/AP