Catalyzing Climate Action
The World Bank Group is focusing on five key areas that can help get prices right, get finance flowing, and make progress where it matters most.
Building low-carbon, climate resilient cities, particularly through assistance with low-carbon planning, energy-efficiency assessments, and securing finance, targets the fast-growing metropolitan areas that are connected to 70 percent of global emissions. Moving forward on climate-smart agriculture improves yields to feed a growing global population, reduces emissions, and adds carbon storage. Accelerating energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy helps shifts the world away from high-carbon fossil fuels. The Bank Group is also supporting work on ending fossil fuel subsidies and developing carbon pricing to get prices right for emissions.
Another important move that can make a difference quickly: By reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPS), such as soot from fires and diesel vehicles and methane from landfills and extractive industries, countries can reap a double reward of reducing the impact on snow and glaciers and lowering the costs to human health and crops.
The World Bank Group Climate Vice-Presidency, established in January 2014, is working to leverage both public and private sources of climate finance, to support climate-smart policy and investments, and to help countries and businesses adapt to a changing climate.
Climate Action at the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group has successfully 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 initiatives that have supported more than 140 projects in 50+ countries. Since 2000, these initiatives have reduced the equivalent of 187 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions through the projects they support.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector arm, works to support renewable power, energy efficiency and other climate-smart solutions for developing countries. IFC has invested more than $11 billion in climate-related projects since 2005, including $2.5 billion during FY 2013.
The World Bank and IFC are also the world's largest issuers of green bonds, which support climate-related projects such as increasing energy efficiency and developing of renewable energy - with $5.3 billion issued by the World Bank Treasury in 61 bonds and 17 currencies, and $3.4 billion by the IFC Treasury, including two $1 billion benchmark offerings in 2013.
Through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Bank is helping 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, noting 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, emphasized the need to better integrate climate adaption with disaster-risk management programs.
Knowledge portals, including the Climate Change Knowledge Portal, the Climate Finance Options Platform, and the Platform for Climate Smart Planning, along with training through the World Bank Institute, provide countries with cutting-edge information, analysis, and tools on climate change.
To tackle SLCPs, the Bank launched a review of its own portfolio to identify ways to do more through its projects to reduce the emission of these pollutants. The report, Integration of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in World Bank Activities, found that 7.7 percent of World Bank commitments, or approximately $ 18 billion, went into "SLCP-relevant" activities between 2007 and 2012.
Another 2013 report, On Thin Ice, showed that by moving rapidly to reduce SLCPs, the world could slow warming in critical snow and ice-covered regions and save millions of lives.
Following the Bank’s own Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change in 2008 and the World Development Report on climate change in 2010, we are developing a new Climate Action Plan that will enhance resilience of countries, support inclusive green growth and integrate climate risk assessments in investment decisions across our portfolio.