Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Earth Today | World Bank Group commits $200 billion to climate action

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM
With climate change, extreme weather events, including hurricanes --- the likes of which affected the Caribbean last year --- are expected to continue to affect the region, making adaptation and resilience building critical.

CLIMATE CHANGE adaptation and resilience is being prioritised, with the World Bank Group's announcement of a new set of targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current five-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.

This is recognising mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world's poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.

"Climate change is an existential threat to the world's poorest and most vulnerable. These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue, investing and mobilising $200 billion over five years to combat climate change," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a release to the media.

"We are pushing ourselves to do more and to go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do the same. This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future," he added.

The $200 billion across the group is made up of approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank (IBRD/IDA), and approximately $100 billion of combined direct finance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and private capital mobilised by the World Bank Group.

"People are losing their lives and livelihoods because of the disastrous effects of climate change. We must fight the causes, but also adapt to the consequences that are often most dramatic for the world's poorest people," said World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva.

"This is why we at the World Bank commit to step up climate finance to $100 billion, half of which will go to build better adapted homes, schools and infrastructure, and invest in climate-smart agriculture, sustainable water management and responsive social safety nets," she added.

 

NEW RATING SYSTEM

 

The new financing will ensure that adaptation is undertaken in a systematic fashion, and the World Bank will develop a new rating system to track and incentivise global progress. Actions will include supporting higher-quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services to better prepare 250 million people in 30 developing countries for climate risks. In addition, the expected investments will build more climate-responsive social protection systems in 40 countries, and finance climate-smart agriculture investments in 20 countries.

The new targets build on the World Bank Group's 2016 Climate Change Action Plan. In 2018, the World Bank Group provided a record-breaking $20.5 billion in finance for climate action: doubling delivery from the year before the Paris Agreement and meeting its 2020 target two years ahead of schedule.

The World Bank Group will continue to integrate climate considerations into its work, including screening projects for climate risks and building in appropriate risk-mitigation measures, disclosing both gross and net greenhouse gas emissions, and applying a shadow carbon price for all material investments.

To increase system-wide impact for countries, the World Bank Group will support the integration of climate considerations in policy planning, investment design, implementation and evaluation.

It is also to support at least 20 countries to implement and update Nationally Determined Contributions and increase engagement with ministries of finance in the design and implementation of transformative low-carbon policies.