Catalyzing Climate Action
The World Bank Group Climate Change Group, established in January 2014, has four core objectives:
- Embed climate risk and opportunity and resilience into country strategies and internal processes.
- Be a key player in international climate finance architecture to leverage and mobilize finance for low-carbon growth and resilient investments.
- Establish the World Bank Group as a solution provider with the best tools, analytics, and evidence of climate impact on all clients, particularly the most vulnerable.
- Continue to advocate for, drive, and support global action to avoid exceeding a 2°C warmer world and eventually achieve carbon neutrality in the global economy to enable achievement of the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity.
In FY2014, the World Bank Group’s total climate investments increased to $11.3 billion, with the World Bank (IBRD/IDA) committing $8.8 billion and the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), committing $2.5 billion. The World Bank Group had 221 climate investment projects in over 60 countries during the fiscal year.
The World Bank Group has demonstrated innovative ways to mobilize additional resources to finance climate action by working with partners. That includes the $8 billion Climate Investment Funds, which are designed to provide scaled-up financing through the multilateral development banks to initiate transformational change toward climate-resilient, low-carbon development.
The Bank is trustee of 15 carbon finance funds that have supported more than 145 projects in 70 client countries. Since 2000, these initiatives have reduced the equivalent of 187 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions through the projects they support.
IFC works to support renewable power, energy efficiency, and other climate-smart solutions for developing countries. IFC has committed more than $13 billion in climate-related projects since 2005, including $1 billion in renewable energy generation in FY14.
The World Bank Treasury and IFC are also among the world's largest issuers of green bonds, which support climate-related projects such as increasing energy efficiency and developing of renewable energy — with nearly $8 billion issued by the World Bank Treasury in 18 currencies. IFC has issued $3.7 billion in green bonds, including two benchmark $1 billion issues in 2013.
Through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the World Bank helps developing countries reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and adapt to climate change by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in country development strategies.
The 2013 report Building Resilience: Integrating Climate and Disaster Risk into Development noted that weather-related losses and damage have risen from an annual average of about $50 billion in the 1980s to close to $200 billion over the last decade, and emphasized the need to better integrate climate adaption with disaster-risk management programs.
A World Bank Group study in 2014 found that government policies that improve energy efficiency and public transport could increase global economic output by more than $1.8 trillion per year, and also save lives, reduce crop losses and tackle climate change. The Adding up the Benefits report shows the potential economic, health and other gains from scaling up climate-smart policies as well as projects already in place in developing countries like Brazil, India, and Mexico. The report strengthens the case for urgent action on climate change.
The Green Growth Knowledge Portal, the Climate-Smart Planning Platform, and the Program for Market Readiness, provide countries with cutting-edge information, analysis, and tools on climate change.
As mandated by the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s Fund for the poorest, IDA Country Partnership Frameworks are incorporating climate and disaster risk considerations, and new IDA operations are now screened for short- and long-term climate change and disaster risks, and resilience measures are integrated as appropriate.
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015