TOKYO, Japan – The World Bank is looking to work more closely with emerging markets in Southeast Asia in lessening the effects of climate change.

Risk management is key for emerging economies, which include the Philippines, given more serious threats of climate change, the World Bank chief said.

“Our task is to find ways of encouraging ever greater efforts in both mitigation and adaptation to climate change but mitigation is really critical,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.

The World Bank is prodding its members to create a market for new technologies focused on mitigation of climate change, Kim said in a briefing during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meetings here.

Southeast Asia is home to emerging markets like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

However, the Asia Pacific region is prone to volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes.

Specifically, the Philippines ranked third among countries most exposed to the effects of climate change like stronger storms, floods, earthquakes and drought, data from the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security showed.

“I was surprised that even in the last six months, the data on climate change has become even more frightening,” Kim said.

“Things that we thought would only happen with higher degree change in the average temperature are happening now.”

For instance, the World Bank tagged man-made climate change as the culprit for the droughts in US and Russia that jacked up global food prices.

The Philippines, for its part, suffered from torrential rains that caused heavy flooding in various parts of the country in August, displacing thousands and killing more than 100 people.

However, there is still an upside for Southeast Asian regions despite climate change.

“We simply have to find those opportunities,” Kim said, answering a question on Southeast Asia. –Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star)