• Countries and communities around the world are already experiencing stepped-up climate change impacts – including droughts, floods, more intense and frequent natural disasters, and sea-level rise – and the most vulnerable are being hit the hardest.  

    Climate change increases volatility and threatens efforts to end poverty.

    • Climate change is already having real, measurable impacts on human health, with impacts expected to grow. Co-pollutants associated with carbon emissions are already responsible for more than 7 million premature deaths each year, while direct costs to health are estimated to be between US$2-4 billion/year by 2030.
    • Undernutrition is identified as the largest health impact of climate change in the 21st century. WHO estimates a 6% decline in global wheat yields and 10% fall in rice yields for each additional 1 °C rise in global temperature. Climate change is estimated to result in 10 million additional children being stunted by 2050. 

    The financing required for an orderly transition to a low carbon, resilient global economy can be counted in the trillions, not billions.  


    Climate action is a vast opportunity for sustainable global development, with investment potential in the trillions of dollars and the ability to drive innovation and create green industries and new jobs. 

    Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require coordinated global action at an unprecedented scale and speed.

    • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will only be achieved if tackled along with climate change. The world will soon need to feed 9 billion people while reducing emissions, provide electricity access to 1.1 billion people while transitioning from fossil fuels, and prepare for 2 billion new urban dwellers while reducing the carbon footprint of cities and improving urban resilience.   

    Carbon pricing is one of the strongest policy levers available to shift financing flows.  It delivers a triple dividend – it protects the environment, raises revenue, and drives investments to clean technologies. 

    • The number of carbon pricing initiatives implemented or scheduled has almost doubled over the past five years. To date, over 40 national and 25 subnational jurisdictions, responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, are now putting a price on carbon.

    • However, to shift investment at scale, carbon pricing coverage must expand, and prices must rise.  Currently, 85 percent of all forms of carbon pricing sets the price at less than $10 per ton of CO2 equivalent.

    • The High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, led by Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern, concluded in May 2017 that a carbon price of $40-$80 per ton of CO2 equivalent by 2020, increasing to $50-$100 per ton by 2030, would allow for achievement of the core goal of the Paris Agreement – keeping global temperature rise to below 2C.

    Last Updated: Oct 02, 2017

    • The World Bank Group (WBG) is more committed than ever to helping countries meet the climate challenge.  The WBG’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without tackling climate change.

    • More than 140 developing and middle-income countries have submitted national plans for climate action – the Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs.  The WBG is now actively working with countries to help them deliver on and exceed their Paris ambitions, including through financing, technical assistance, and knowledge sharing.

    • Between FY2011 and FY2016, the WBG committed $63 billion dollars, an average of more than $10 billion a year, to more than 1,000 climate-related projects that help countries adapt to a changing climate and mitigate the impacts of climate change. In FY2016 alone, the WBG provided $10.4 billion in financing to 177 climate-related projects.

    • The World Bank and IFC are among the world’s largest issuers of green bonds. As of April 2017, the World Bank had issued a total of 130 green bonds worth over $10 billion. As of April 2017, IFC had issued 77 green bonds worth $5.8 billion. 

    • The WBG has committed to increasing climate financing to 28 percent of the Bank Group’s portfolio by 2020, in response to client demand.  At current levels of co-financing, that would mean a potential $29 billion a year for climate projects by 2020.

    • The WBG Climate Change Action Plan, adopted in April 2016, lays out concrete steps to meet that commitment. It includes ambitious targets to be met by 2020, including helping client countries add 30 gigawatts of renewable energy, put in place early warning systems for 100 million people, and develop climate-smart agriculture investment plans for at least 40 countries

    Since then, the Bank Group has been moving quickly towards meeting these targets:

    • In 2016-17, the institution undertook renewable energy projects representing 10 gigawatts of generation capacity, which are expected to mobilize $6.5 billion in funding.

    • During the same period, the Bank Group approved ten new operations that when in place will improve the climate resilience of over 50 million people.

    • All World Bank projects are now screened for climate and disaster risk to ensure that they build the resilience of people on the ground.

    • In partnership with the UN, the WBG has announced a new platform for climate action, Invest4Climate, designed to bring together national governments, financial institutions, investors, philanthropies, and multilateral banks to support transformational climate investments in developing countries. 

    Last Updated: Oct 02, 2017

  • Last Updated: Oct 02, 2017



More Photos Arrow

In Depth


IDA and Climate Change

IDA helps the poorest nations adapt to climate change by building their resilience to disasters, and promoting sustainable development to ...


Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC)

The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition brings together leaders from across government, the private sector and civil society to share ...


Climate Investment Funds

The $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 72 developing and middle income countries with urgently needed resources to ...



Connect4Climate is a global partnership program launched by the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry of Environment, joined by the ...


Forest Carbon Partnership Facility

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock ...


BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes is focused on reducing emissions from the land sector through smarter ...

Additional Resources


Media Inquiries
Elisabeth Mealey