Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs), a pioneering World Bank Group core diagnostic, have analyzed 24 countries so far. Analyzing the first batch of these reveals that countries can build resilience and achieve climate goals without compromising development, but this will require major changes. The reports identify which strategies will do the most the fastest , and which are urgent to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and protect people, while supporting green, resilient, inclusive development. Here are 10 key insights:
- High income countries have to accelerate their climate action and increase their support to low- and middle-income countries. Reducing emissions to prevent the harshest impacts on low- and middle-income countries requires rapidly reducing emissions in high-income countries, which have more resources to do so and larger emissions per capita. The CCDRs recognize that there are large needs related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in low-income countries, including for institutional strengthening and investments, especially in infrastructure. Richer countries must step up financial resources on a number of fronts, including supporting well designed just transition policies and reforms; ensuring access to affordable financing, and providing concessional resources, including grants, especially for lower-income countries.
- Boosting resilience and adaptation is an urgent and integral part of development and poverty reduction, especially in low-income countries. Poverty is closely linked to climate vulnerability. For people and communities to be better prepared for climate impacts, it is essential to reduce poverty and boost development. CCDRs include many examples where a well-functioning economic system, combined with policies that ensure equitable access to resources and basic services, helps reduce climate change impacts. And without more action on adaptation and resilience, poor people will be the first and most affected. The poverty rate in the Sahel countries could increase from a 27% baseline to 34% by 2050 in a dry and high-emission scenario, with an additional 13.5 million people falling into poverty.
- Countries can grow while reducing GHG emissions, but only if they embrace major change. Substantial reductions in GHG emissions are compatible with economic growth and countries’ development goals, but only if key conditions are met, including well-designed climate actions, strong participation of the private sector, international support, and appropriate measures to manage unavoidable trade-offs, protect the poor, and facilitate a just transition.
- To increase resilience and reduce emissions, annual investment needs average about 1.4% of GDP over 2022-30 across all the CCDR countries analyzed so far, rising to as much as 8% of GDP in low-income countries. This level of investment would boost resilience and keep countries on track for reducing emissions by about 70% compared to current levels, by 2050. Meeting these needs without affecting development and poverty reduction would require sustained access to finance and adequate international support, especially for low and lower middle-income countries which will require greater upfront investments to meet significant existing infrastructure gaps and where access to capital is more limited.
- These low-carbon, resilient investments would generate benefits that partially or completely offset costs. In Türkiye, major benefits from reduced energy imports and lower air pollution are estimated to lead to a net gain of $146 billion over 2022–40 (1 percent of GDP). In Ghana, improvements in public health, fuel import savings, and increased timber extraction through increased plantation in a resilient and low-carbon scenario could amount to $35 billion in net benefits by 2050 (around 2 percent of GDP over the same period).
- In the energy sector, renewables are a vital part of the solution and are often the cheapest way to meet new demand for energy, but they need to be combined with energy efficiency. Energy efficiency and other approaches that reduce and manage energy usage are vital and can make the decarbonization of the power sector more affordable, improve energy security by reducing exposure to volatile fuel prices, and reduce emissions. In Kazakhstan, energy efficiency improvements in key sectors can achieve total system cost savings of over $70 billion in the period to 2060. In Bangladesh, energy efficiency solutions can reduce energy consumption in the ready-made garment and textile sector by around 30 percent and increase productivity by 10–15 percent.
- Reducing methane is crucial to achieve global climate targets. The relatively short-lived but potent pollutant, methane represents a significant share of overall emissions in several of the countries covered in the first set of CCDRs, not only in the energy sector, but also from livestock, rice production, and waste. In Bangladesh, for instance, improving municipal waste collection, sorting, and treatment, including capturing methane from landfill sites could boost renewable energy generation and reduce local air pollution.
- In the transport sector, a reduced reliance on road-based vehicle transport would be a win-win for climate and development. Countries can reduce transport-related emissions by combining: reduced demand through land use and urban planning; investment in the infrastructure needed for public and nonmotorized transport; improvement of vehicle fuel efficiency and electrifying their fleet. This combination of measures would reduce congestion, air pollution and GHG emissions. At the same time, it is also important to consider the resilience of transport networks: CCDR analyses in Malawi, Peru, Vietnam, and Argentina go further than considering the climate adaptation of individual infrastructure assets and look more widely at services, systems, strategic supply chains, and the criticality of network connectivity to ensure uninterrupted movement of people and goods in the face of climate hazards and other shocks.
- In the forests and land use sector, protecting and restoring forests would bring multiple economic benefits. Economic growth has often come at the cost of natural capital degradation. But there is increasing evidence that reversing deforestation trends can go hand in hand with job creation and economic growth. In Peru, where agriculture represents 90% of total deforested area, moving to a zero-carbon forest sector could generate 85,000 jobs per year by 2050 and bring $3.5 billion in benefits from recovered ecosystem services. Improving land use planning and agriculture innovation systems, promoting intensification, and integrating smallholders and communal organizations into agriculture value chains can not only help reverse deforestation, but boost incomes and access to markets as well.
- Countries cannot afford to wait to fix governance challenges before starting to invest in climate action. All the CCDRs conclude that strong institutional and governance environments would reduce costs and maximize the benefits of the transition. On the other hand, the urgency of climate action means that a parallel approach is needed in strengthening institutions and investing in climate action. The CCDRs identify synergies they can capture without delay, even with imperfect institutions, governance, and economic structures.
For more on the emerging lessons from World Bank Group Country Climate and Development Reports, see Climate and Development: An Agenda for Action.