Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Climate change financing to triple

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2015 | 10:00 AMMcPherse Thompson

LIMA, Peru:

The World Bank Group has pledged to increase climate change financing to US$29 billion annually, giving a boost to global efforts to help countries tackle the impacts of climate change and move towards low-carbon growth.

Currently, 21 per cent of the Bank's funding is climate related, but President Jim Yong Kim said last Friday that that could rise to 28 per cent in 2020 in response to demand, representing a one-third increase in financing.

The bank now provides an average of US$10.3 billion a year in direct financing for climate action, and if current financing levels are maintained, this would mean an increase to US$16 billion in 2020.

In addition, the World Bank plans to continue current levels of leveraging co-financing for climate-related projects. At current financing levels, that could mean up to another US$13 billion a year in 2020. The direct financing and leveraged co-financing together represent an estimated US$29 billion.

Kim made the announcement during the annual meetings of World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Lima in a private meeting of ministers who gathered to talk about climate change financing ahead of the 2015 United Nations climate change conference scheduled for Paris, France from November 30 to December 11.

The conference is slated at reaching a global agreement on climate change, including delivering on a promise to provide developing countries with US$100 billion a year in climate change financing by 2020.

"We are committed to scaling up our support for developing countries to battle, climate change," Kim was quoted in a release as saying. "As we move closer to Paris, countries have identified trillions of dollars of climate-related needs. The Bank, with the support of our members, will respond ambitiously to this great challenge," he added.

SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLES

The bank said its climate finance pledge is dependent on client demand and on maintaining current financial capacity.

The investments will boost support for renewable energy and energy efficiency, climate-smart transport solutions, resilient cities, the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes, enhanced water security, and agricultural practices.

The release said that in the meeting of ministers, called by Peru and France, Kim described the financing of climate action a "collective challenge. We all know country needs for ending extreme poverty and boosting sharing prosperity and combating climate change, are enormous. Together, all of us here will have to find ways to respond to the expected rising demand".

It also quoted the World Bank group vice-president and special envoy for climate change, Rachel Kyte, as saying: "Working together, the multilateral development banks are showing that we will respond to the incredible demand seen in the national contribution plans filed with the United Nations. Now, our focus shifts from the commitment to finance to executing the projects and programmes that will make a difference in people's lives."

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com