Over the past year, nearly a quarter of the World Bank Group’s lending supported projects that also helped countries address the drivers of climate change and adapt to climate risks. Solar power in countries including Chile and China, energy efficiency in regions like the Balkan states, and climate-smart agriculture in countries including Kenya and Malawi are just a few of the examples.
As scientific understanding of the threats posed by climate change has grown, the World Bank Group has made a higher priority of helping countries adapt to and mitigate the risks of climate change, and it is increasingly viewing its lending through a climate lens.
That work starts with a foundation of risk screening, greenhouse gas accounting, and analysis.
The World Bank screens operations and country strategies for climate change and disaster risks under several existing requirements.
Starting this fiscal year, new country partnership frameworks, which are used by World Bank management and the Board for guiding the World Bank Group’s country programs and gauging their effectiveness, are also expected to address climate change and disaster risks as appropriate for each country. That includes assessing how policies, programs, and projects could be affected by short- and long-term climate change and disaster risks; accounting for the impact of projects on the global climate through greenhouse gas emissions and short-lived climate pollutants; and addressing risks from fossil fuel price volatility and climate-related regulations.
For the 77 countries funded through the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the most vulnerable, climate change and disaster risks draw additional attention. Many of these countries have been hit hard by water shortages, extreme weather and other climate impacts in recent years.
All IDA operations are now screened for short- and long-term climate change and disaster risks, and resilience measures are integrated as appropriate. Also, all country partnership frameworks through IDA (pdf) will incorporate climate and disaster risk considerations into the analysis of development challenges and priorities, and, when countries agree, in the content of programs and results frameworks. A new set of climate and disaster risk screening tools is helping to guide project and country teams to identify potential risks in proposed projects and strategies.
World Bank economists are also developing indicators to help countries further measure climate and disaster risk resilience.