Sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity for today’s population and to continue to meet the needs of future generations. It must be efficient with resources and carefully planned to deliver immediate and long-term benefits for people, planet, and prosperity.
Read More »
Venue: Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO), Ministry of Environmental ProtectionDate: Monday September 15, 2014 Important Steps Along the Path of a Thousand Mile JourneyThank you Vice Minister ... Show More +Zhai Qing, Mr. Chen Liang, Ms. Tina Birmpili, ladies and gentlemen.It is an honor for me to join you to share in celebrating International Ozone Day and in recognizing the key role that China’, as an important Party to the Montreal Protocol, have played and continues to play in achieving global environmental objectives.The World Bank Group has been working with China to promote green development to address China's environmental challenges and to make green development a new driver for growth. Our program in China emphasizes knowledge sharing and cooperation through advice and analytical products and through public and private sector investments that introduce and demonstrate new approaches which are later adopted or scaled up at the provincial and national level.This is the case of the long-standing, ongoing partnership between China and the World Bank for the Montreal Protocol. The program has supported China in fulfilling its obligations and contributed important co-benefits through climate change mitigation. Over the past 20 years, the World Bank–China Montreal Protocol partnership has phased-out more than 219,000 tons of ozone-depleting substances, nearly three years ahead of the Montreal Protocol schedule. This work has also resulted in avoided emissions of 885 million tons of CO2 equivalent, which compares to eliminating the annual emissions of more than 180 million passenger vehicles.Today’s announced production closures are part of the China-World Bank HCFC production sector phase-out strategy, supported by a US $95 million grant from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. This voluntary approach to rewarding early movers builds on the innovative reverse auction program that was jointly developed by FECO and the Bank team almost twenty years ago. This action speaks volumes regarding the commitment that China has towards the Montreal Protocol, given that 16 percent of the country’s total HCFC production capacity, slated to close by 2030, will now have been eliminated within China’s first stage HCFC phase-out project by 2015. It marks a major leap forward for the Montreal Protocol’s global targets, and sends a strong signal to the global market that production closure is speeding forward and generating important climate co-benefits.I would like to sincerely congratulate and commend the staff of FECO on this significant achievement, only two years into project effectiveness. I would also like to thank the five producers (Yingpeng Chemical Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang DongYang Chemical Co., Ltd.; Jiangsu Blue Star Green Technology Co., Ltd.; Hangzhou First Chemical Co., Ltd.; and, Yantai Zhongrui Chemical Co., Ltd.) for rising to the occasion and partnering with FECO on this important global initiative. Your presence at this event reflects the importance of this milestone and the strong compliance standard China holds with respect to its Montreal Protocol HCFC phase-out obligations and the global environment benefits they generate. Yet the benefits do not end there. The HCFC production closure effort we laud today will also yield significant avoided CO2 emissions that will result from the production closure of HCFCs with high global warming potential, as well as from the related off-gas shut down of HFC at two of the enterprises. Together, an aggregate reduction in the order of 93 million tons of CO2 equivalent will be achieved, which equates with eliminating the annual emissions of approximately 19.5 million passenger vehicles.Today’s achievement marks a positive first step of a new thousand mile journey into the future, one that challenges us to build on past experience and expertise and continue to innovate in facing, and meeting, the challenges of a post-HCFC world.The World Bank is proud of the long-standing and ongoing partnership with the FECO team. The proverb states that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. The journey of partnership in support of the Montreal Protocol has indeed been one of many steps which have laid the foundations for the implementation of innovative and sustainable phase-out activities. Thank you for putting your trust in taking this journey together with us.We look forward to your continued success in the phase-out of the HCFC in both the production and consumption sectors and reiterate the World Bank's continued commitment in working with both China and the Montreal Protocol in support of this endeavor. Once again, congratulations and thank you. Show Less -
Distinguished co-chairs, members of the panel, your excellences, ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues,There is no need to debate the reality of climate change. The scientific consensus of the ... Show More +last few years has brought climate change over the planning horizon for all countries. The science is absolutely clear and is understood almost everywhere. The impacts are being felt now. And in fact, the economics are compelling. A dollar invested in early warning can save $30 in the cost of relief and reconstruction after a disaster.The costs are already punishing, especially for small island developing states. It is only the politics globally and nationally that are in doubt. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim have said, 2014 must be the year of climate action. As Mary Robinson highlighted, in less than one month from now, heads of state and CEOs will meet in New York to confirm their commitment to take action on climate change.The question we’ve been asking at The World Bank Group is, what does leadership look like at the beginning of the 21st century? What are leaders doing that will alleviate the burden that is already being felt in countries such as this? Countries, we hope, will describe how they’re re-tooling their economies with smart policies that put a price on carbon, that get the finance flowing, that drive efficiency through energy and transport and appliances and buildings. And set targets for renewable energy as part of an energy mix. Each country – developed, fast growing, and emerging – can pull the fiscal and economic and macroeconomic levers of policy and send clear signals to the private sector to drive investment away from the dirty and towards the clean.With that kind of public policy intent, companies can describe how they take climate risks and how they seize opportunity and how they are changing their business planning. And it’s not theoretical; because we can point to countries at every stage of development that are already doing this. Together, if they all line up, you can start to see the momentum that is desperately needed for countries like these, in this region.So we hope that at the Climate Summit there will be announcements about climate across many sectors, but we sincerely hope that there will be material announcements on the things which are absolutely profound and matter most in terms of how we manage our economies.And there is a real need for policy coherence. You can’t dump your old car in the Pacific and then spend development assistance trying to clean the air. You can’t not tax carbon and then struggle to raise the dollars needed for development assistance and climate finance that will invest in resilience.You could expand this to local programs and reduce the amount that has to be spent in the region by multilaterals and bilaterals. We simply cannot afford to keep spending money the way we do. It has been small island developing states that have been pointing this out for years. I hope we in The World Bank Group have begun to listen and have started to change the way that we work.When it comes to resilience, we have been working with you to build resilience by strengthening countries’ and communities’ capacity to withstand the financial shocks that come from extreme weather events, to deal with the impacts of climate change and natural disasters, and to bounce back and recover quicker.Our approach to resilience is from the reef to the ridge. We try to work with small island states to promote your private sector investment in sustainable jobs and the competitiveness that will keep your economies alive. From fisheries to tourism, we see investment opportunity despite the risk associated with the long-term trends.At the same time, we are trying to ensure that disaster and climate resilience, as well as food and energy security, are fully integrated into your development plans. And to match the need you have to do that, we have from the 1st of July made disaster and climate risk screening a mandatory component of all of our lending into countries such as small island developing states. We hope and urge all other multilateral donors to do the same.In the Caribbean, we focus on competiveness, on debt reduction, strengthening governance, in order to reduce vulnerability to climate and disaster risks. The debt conversation and the climate conversation are in fact the same conversation when we think about climate from a resilience point of view. The EU and others have talked about the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which we are so proud to be a part of. It pools hurricane and earthquake risk for 16 Caribbean countries – soon to be joined by a number of neighboring Central American countries. And just a few months ago, in addition, we issued a three-year, US$30 million cat bond linked to disaster risk in the member countries. If a disaster strikes, the principal of the bond will be reduced and the insurance pool will receive a payout in the same amount – it essentially allows us to provide reinsurance to the CCRIF.This kind of financial innovation is essential. The mechanism set up in the Caribbean was the first of its kind. Now, thanks to a similar solution, six Pacific island countries can also buy catastrophe insurance coverage as much as 50 percent cheaper than if they did it on their own. This year, Tonga was the first to receive a payout, following Tropical Cyclone Ian. For a partial payment of the premium, around $10,000, Tonga has received payments totaling over $1 million out of the facility, and they received the first payments within two weeks of the disaster. This is a very smart investment in resilience. This is a very smart investment in risk.This insurance pool is part of a broader Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI). With the assistance from both the EU and Japan, we’ve also helped map more than 2 million buildings at risk across the region – from Apia to Majuro – enabling better disaster and climate risk planning.Building on the success in the Caribbean and the success in the Pacific, we can now build the same kind of approach to disaster risk assessment and financing in the Indian Ocean. And we are already seeing results with strengthened improvements of post-disaster budget mobilization and execution.So right now, more than 20 percent of our work with small islands is on programs that directly address climate and disaster risks. Over the past four years, our support has averaged US$145 million just for resilience. That’s going to increase to $190 million this year and go up. But we’ve heard from you, that it is not just the increase in the funds that matters most. In some cases, it is not really about the money. It is about how the money is made available. You’ve been very clear in telling us that you need the funding to be easily accessible and funding that is not fragmented in ways that further tax your capacities and your resources.We are cognizant of this. We understand the burdens on a country like Samoa, which is now managing 14 different projects on climate and disaster resilience. The Solomon Islands is managing 22. So, I hope that we’ve heard you; you have generic issues of resilience, but you’re also special. You don’t want new windows – we have to build on the windows of financing that are already available. We have to consolidate, and we have to streamline, and then we have to scale up. You need it now.I think that we completely understand that there is no financial, economic, social, or human benefit to not investing in resilience now. In fact, the residual risk simply goes up, and the cost of investment in reconstruction and resilience simply goes up, too. So the burden of management and of organization has to be more on us than on you. We would like to build on our existing program working with our partners to scale up small island states’ resilience, to meet the increase needs of small island nations.What we are trying to do is not a new initiative but to build on what we have already done, to cut through the red tape, to make it easier, faster, and simpler to access funding to deal with resilience and climate change. One way to think about it is that if we are successful and we can inject investment into resilience now it will, in addition, ready you for the eventual flow of funds from the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance sources. We hope that this initiative will help pool donor resource available now, reduce your transaction costs, allow for economies of scale across countries, and lay the groundwork for direct country access to global climate funds.You can think of it as perhaps your one-stop shop to deal with the real impacts of climate change. We are going to have to come together to make this work: small island states, donors, and the development community. We sincerely believe at The World Bank Group that it is the time and it is the place to join hands and, as you have asked us to do, form the partnership that will make this happen.We are confident that with your support we can step up, we can mobilize, and we can streamline, and we can inject the resources where you need them to those who need them most. Show Less -
Honorable Congressman Alfredo Benitez, Honorable Mayors Mr. Del de Guzman, Mr. Jed MabilogMs. Cecilia Alba, Secretary General, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)Ms. Ana Ol... Show More +iveros, President, Social Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC)Mr. Billy Cobbett, Director, Cities Alliance,Civil Society partners and honorable guests.Magandang umaga po. On behalf of the World Bank, I would like to welcome all of you and acknowledge the presence of international experts on citywide informal settlement upgrading from Brazil and Thailand. We are here today because we care for the poor living in cities, particularly those living in areas where there is constant threat to their lives and the quality of life is very poor. The Philippines has demonstrated strong economic growth in recent years. In 2013, Philippines was one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, second only to China. And it is projected to maintain the similar trajectory this year. Urban areas have been the driver of this strong economic growth. Greater Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities together account for about 80% of the national GDP. And yet, the urban poverty remains a compelling challenge despite the economic growth. Strong economic activities in urban areas attract migrants from rural areas in search of better jobs. Yet, as cities fail to keep up with the fast pace of urbanization, urban poverty is deepening and widening especially in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities. This is evident in the pervasiveness of the informal settlements. While it is difficult to capture the accurate number, National Housing Agency estimates that there are now over 1.5 million Informal Settler Families or ISFs across the country. 40% of them are concentrated in Metro Manila. This means that 1 out of every 4 people in Metro Manila live in informal settlements.I have visited some informal settlements in Metro Manila. They are overcrowded, exposed to recurring floods, and often lack basic infrastructure and services. It is hard to imagine this country achieving more inclusive growth without addressing the precarious situation of the ISFs and providing solutions to lift them out of poverty. To this end, I would like to congratulate the Local Government Units such as Cebu, Iloilo, Mandaue, Naga, and Quezon City that have undertaken innovative initiatives and have succeeded in tackling the ISF issue at scale. I’d also like to congratulate the government for launching Oplan Likas that aims to move 104,000 ISFs out of danger zones in Metro Manila by 2016. These are families living in the path of floods and other extreme natural hazards. It is a formidable endeavor, and the World Bank is committed to helping the government move them to safer grounds by providing policy advice on issues such as subsidy design to facilitate resettlement. Despite these efforts, however, the demand is still largely unmet. The magnitude of the ISFs is so large that it renders the traditional project-based approach of upgrading one settlement at a time ineffective. There is an urgent need to shift from a project-based approach to a programmatic approach which allows the government to reach scale in a timely manner.This brings me to the Citywide Development Approach to Informal Settlement Upgrading that we are here to discuss today. The World Bank supports the Citywide approach as an alternative solution to informal settlement upgrading. I will not discuss the details of the Citywide approach, as others will cover this later. But the purpose of the approach is to scale-up the slum upgrading efforts so that the needs can be met more quickly. It entails mapping all the ISFs within a city, developing a citywide shelter development plan, and systematically allocating resources to priority informal settlements. This approach differs from the traditional informal settlement upgrading in three key aspects. First, informal settlement upgrading is done at scale. Second, the informal settlement upgrading process is decentralized to the LGU level, rather than centralized at the national level. Third, it is a demand-driven approach where communities drive the settlement upgrading planning and implementation process with the support of the LGUs and the CSOs, rather than a supply-driven approach that focuses on mass construction of houses. Show Less -