Millennium Development Goals

Goal 7

Ensure Environmental Sustainability by 2015

Q: How does sustainable energy support small businesses?
A: Investments in sustainable energy, such as wind or solar projects, support job and business creation in two ways. First, by providing direct opportunities for the development of small businesses that work on these projects. Second, by increasing the number of small businesses that are operated out of homes, since they depend on a reliable, affordable energy source to operate.

World Bank: A Holistic Approach to Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity for people today and for future generations. At the same time, growth patterns have left hundreds of millions of people behind: 1.2 billion still lack access to electricity, 870 million are malnourished, and 780 million are still without access to clean, safe drinking water. While efforts to expand access to safe drinking water are on track to achieve this target in most regions, 2.5 billion people still lack access to sanitation. Land is still being degraded, forests lost, and species endangered as carbon emissions continue to change the environment we live in. With World Bank support, more countries are approaching the relationship among land, forests, water, and food security in a more holistic, sustainable way.

A vocational center in Morocco prepares students for new jobs in the energy sector. A vocational center in Morocco prepares students for new jobs in the energy sector.
We can support environmental sustainability by:
investing in clean energy
making infrastructure improvements
increasing access to sanitation
offering technical assistance
promoting ecosystem-based solutions

Making Strides in Environmental Sustainability

Addressing climate change is an urgent priority for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. From July 2011 to June 2012, IDA provided $2.3 billion to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change and another $2.3 billion to mitigate the effects. All country strategies completed in fiscal 2012 included a discussion on the country’s vulnerability to climate change; at least half also included actions on energy efficiency, renewable energy, or analytical work/technical assistance on climate change.

Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy

  • Improve sustainable management of natural resources
  • Increase access to low-emission, climate-smart transport, energy, agriculture
  • Reduce countries' vulnerability to climate-related shocks

Some of Our MDG 7 Results

IDA is helping countries achieve MDG 7 through $4.7 billion in financing over the past decade in support of environmental and natural resource management.

  • Bangladesh: 2 million low-income rural households had electricity delivered by solar PV panels in 2012, up from 7,000 in 2001.
  • Haiti: 1.3 million people, represented by 76 civil protection communities, strengthened their disaster preparedness and response capacity from 2005 to 2011.
  • Rwanda: more than 10,000 hectares of hillside were developed and protected against soil erosion from 2008 to 2012.

How’s the World Doing?

  • 2 billion people gained access to clean drinking water from 1990 to 2010.
  • 47% of developing countries are on track to hit the drinkable water target.
  • 2.5 billion people still lack basic sanitation.
  • 58%increase in the number of protected areas since 1990.


What Climate Change Means for Africa, Asia and Coastal Poor

What Climate Change Means For Coastal Africa and Asia

Report: poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change.

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Results Profile

Taking Action on Climate Change

Through disposal of solid waste, Morocco has reduced CO2 emissions of up to 900,000 tons per year.

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World Bank’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

  • FY10: $13 billion in projects incorporating Environmental and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) activities. Of this, projects with more than 65 percent ENRM content amounted to $4.7 billion.


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