2016 is shaping up as the hottest year on record. The first six months of the year were the hottest since records began in 1880, while the Artic has seen record low sea ice levels. As a result of the growing impacts of climate change, millions of people experiencing higher temperatures and extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, floods and storm surges, putting food and water security at risk, and threatening agricultural supply chains and many coastal cities.

The impacts and risks posed by climate change highlight the need for action to deliver on the Paris Agreement on climate change, reached in December 2015, to keep a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. And with the world’s poorest people hit hardest by climate change, the case for action has been underscored by the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by countries in September 2015, as well as the Financing for Development agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

For the World Bank Group, with its goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, climate change and poverty are inextricably linked. A Bank report, Shock Waves: Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Poverty, warned that without rapid action, climate change could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030.

Delaying action would significantly increase the cost of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius – according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, delaying action until 2030 would increase the costs of mitigating the impact of climate change by 50 percent.

A Climate Change Action Plan  

The World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan of April 2016 aims to help developing countries accelerate efforts to tackle climate change and deliver on their national climate plans submitted for Paris, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). As part of the Paris process, 140 client countries of the Bank Group submitted these plans. 

The investment needs embedded in the INDCs amount to more than US$1 trillion per year over the next 15 years. And for the world’s poorest countries, supported by the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest, IDA, the International Development Association, the costs for implementing their INDC actions are between $800 billion to $900 billion by 2030, or up to $60 billion a year through 2030. An analysis of the INDCs of 71 countries supported by IDA shows that most countries are intending to improve renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access. Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation were also highlighted in 90 percent of the INDCs.

Demand-Driven Planning

The Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan is designed to provide customized action and support, recognizing the different needs of developing countries across the globe. The Bank Group developed an Africa Climate Business Plan to tackle the specific needs of countries on the continent. Recognizing the immense need for private sector funding to meet the climate challenge, the Bank Group’s private sector arm, IFC, has also released its Climate Implementation Plan.

Sub-Saharan Africa has immense needs for adaptation, food security, resilience and energy access. Most national climate plans in Africa prioritize adaptation. The Bank Group’s Africa Climate Business Plan  aims to raise $16 billion for adaptation investments by 2020, building up the resilience of the continent’s environment and people, improving energy access via renewable energy, and enabling resilience with support for hydrometeorological services and improved climate-resilient investment planning.. IFC will invest in large scale renewable energy, green buildings and off-grid electricity, as well as opportunities to help the agricultural sector adapt to a changing climate.

The East Asia and Pacific region is responsible for a third of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Energy generation capacity is expected to double by 2030, and generation from coal is expected to increase dramatically without a change to current energy planning in the region. Many countries and islands in the region are highly vulnerable to climate impacts. Forests and landscapes are also a key element of the climate challenge and a major focus of climate policies. The Bank Group has been aligning its operations with the INDCs, with a focus on promoting renewable energy. IFC plans to expand its climate business in renewable energy and urban infrastructure, as well as climate smart agriculture.

Europe and Central Asia has countries with high energy intensity as well as large forest resources, with particular vulnerabilities across the region. In general, the INDCs focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change. So the region’s current climate action aims to address energy intensity, green growth, sustainable forestry and cities and support for countries’ INDCs. There are private sector opportunities in renewable energy, sustainable cities and sustainable energy finance.

Latin America and the Caribbean is vulnerable to natural disasters and has a shifting energy matrix that risks raising emissions through increased reliance on fossil fuels. But it’s also a region demonstrating innovation on climate policies, for example through green growth strategies and carbon tax on fossil fuels in Mexico and sustainable forest management in Brazil. The Bank Group’s climate work targets activities to mitigate climate change and disaster risk management, with increasing emphasis on private sector opportunities in urban infrastructure and agribusiness.

The Middle East and North Africa region accounts for seven percent of global emissions and half of the world’s energy subsidies. Extreme vulnerability to climate change is linked to water availability and agriculture, sea level rise and heat waves. The Bank Group is ramping up its work in helping countries mitigate the impact of climate change in energy, finance and markets and transport.

The South Asia region is vulnerable to sea level rise, floods, landslides and agriculture and in rural areas, people have low access to clean and modern energy services. The INDCs suggest large demand for funding for both efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate impacts, with private sector opportunities in urban infrastructure, and wind and solar and potential for sustainable agriculture.

To help developing countries meet the climate challenge, the Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan re-affirms the pledge by President Jim Yong Kim to increase climate financing to potentially $29 billion a year in 2020, with the support of its members.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2016

The World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan outlines four key priorities for 2020

1.       Supporting transformational policies and institutions –  the right policy and investment environments and stronger institutional capacity are vital to redirect investment flows to where needed

2.       Leveraging resources – meeting global climate goals requires trillions of dollars

3.       Scaling up climate action – with a focus on high impact areas and more help to countries to adapt to a changing climate

4.       Working with our partners to boost climate action – this includes screening all Bank projects for climate risk and working with others on new, innovative solutions

In boosting climate action, the Bank Group will focus on six high impact areas: renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable mobility; sustainable and resilient cities; climate-smart land use, water and food  security; green competitiveness, and ensuring that no one is left behind

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2016

The World Bank Group is working to help countries deliver on their national climate plans. For example: President Jim Yong Kim announced on June 30, 2016, that the Bank plans to provide more than $1 billion to support India’s ambitious initiatives to expand solar through investments in solar generation. The Bank-supported projects under preparation include solar rooftop technology, infrastructure for solar parks, bringing innovative solar and hybrid technologies to market and transmission lines for solar-rich states. The solar investments for India combined will be the Bank’s largest financing of solar for any country in the world to date.

In support of the Africa Climate Business Plan, unveiled in Paris, the Bank’s Board has approved $111 million in new financing to boost productivity in Niger’s agricultural sector and improve its resilience to climate risks. The Niger project will directly benefit about 500,000 farmers and agricultural pastoralists in 44 communes and increase distribution and use of improved drought tolerant seeds and increase the numbers of farmers using irrigation, as well as improve access to markets.

Helping people and countries adapt to climate change has been a key focus of the Bank’s work through IDA, the International Development Association. Examples of results to date include:

  • And 2.9 million families in Bangladesh have benefited from the construction of 220 new cyclone shelters since 2007.
  • About 84% of households in rural Myanmar have no electricity connection. With IDA’s help, Myanmar is on the path to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030.
  • Through the Bank-funded West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) close to six million farmers have learnt how to become “climate smart” through using 160 climate-smart crop varieties developed through the program – a move which has seen productivity boosted by at least 30 percent.
  • The lives and livelihoods of 30 million people in Ethiopia were improved through sustainable land management practices adopted on more than 200,000 hectares of land in the five years to 2015. And in Ethiopia, a safety net program, financed by the Bank and other partners, has proven its worth many times over. After the 2011 drought that affected East Africa, the program was expanded to an extra 3.1 million, reaching 9.6 million beneficiaries in two months. And after the 2015 drought, the program provided three rounds of cash to more than 620,000 people in the country’s highlands.
  • In Mongolia, an index insurance scheme is helping make insurance accessible and affordable for herders who’re vulnerable to losing their livestock in extreme weather. Over 10,000 herders bought insurance in 2015. The innovative scheme is the first of its kind in the world.

Other Bank Group work includes:

  • Through a development policy loan, the Bank is helping Jordan diversify its fuel supply for power generation and shift power generation away from heavy fuel oil and diesel to cleaner renewable energy options. In Jordan, IFC helped fund the construction of seven solar PV projects. These will boost renewables use and transform the country’s energy sector through an investment of $79.66 million, while mobilizing an additional $107 million. The project is the largest private-sector led solar initiative in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The Bank Group has signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance, made up of 22 countries, to collaborate on increasing solar energy use around the world, with the goal of mobilizing $1 trillion in investments by 2030.
  • Through an emergency urban environment project in Benin, the Bank is supporting municipalities to improve sanitation conditions in five cities. This will create better living conditions for more than 1 million people and cut the number of households vulnerable to flooding by 30 percent.
  • In the Amazon, a sustainable landscapes program, aims to protect globally significant biodiversity and bring in policies to foster sustainable land use and restore native vegetation cover in Brazil, Colombia and Peru. It aims to maintain 73 million hectares of forest land, promote sustainable land management of more than 52,000 hectares and support action that will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 300 million tons by 2030.
  • In Mombasa, the coastal region of Kenya, water demands largely exceed supply, with climate variability, droughts and floods taking its toll on poor people. The Bank Group is funding a significant portion of the cost of a US$500 million government program to boost water security and build climate resilience.
  • During FY2012-15, the Bank Group deployed teams to more than 36 countries affected by natural disasters, mobilizing almost $4.5 billion for resilient recovery and reconstruction. As of January 2016, the Bank Group has been providing advisory support to more than 44 countries to help them develop national-level risk financing strategies. It has also been involved in strengthening regional collaboration in disaster risk financing and insurance in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, the southwest Indian Ocean, and East Asia.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2016


Climate Change Action Plan

Discover how the World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan will support countries to identify green transport solutions, develop climate-smart agriculture plans, boost coastal and urban resilience, and more.

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