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FEATURE STORYDecember 5, 2022

The World Bank at COP27

Word cloud at the WBG COP27 pavilion

The World Bank Group was at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to engage on critical climate and development issues and the actions needed to tackle the climate crisis. The biggest multilateral funder of climate action in developing countries, the Bank Group introduced a new partnership to ramp up results-based financing, showcased findings from new climate analytics, presented major initiatives to accelerate decarbonization and promote adaptation, and hosted over 80 hours of programming, bringing together over 220 government ministers, civil society representatives, experts and others to our first ever World Bank Group Pavilion. Here are 7 highlights from the World Bank Group’s delivery at our pavilion in COP27:


1) A mitigation sprint to reduce a potent greenhouse gas

Methane concentrations in the atmosphere saw their largest year-on-year jump in both 2020 and 2021 since measurements began nearly 40 years ago. At COP27, World Bank Group President David Malpass hosted a discussion with John Podesta, US States Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, as well as Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, discussing actions to address emissions from this potent greenhouse gas. President Malpass outlined plans to bring much more finance to tackle methane, as well as the Bank Group’s wealth of experience reducing methane emissions in the sectors that generate the most: agriculture, energy, sanitation and waste. At COP26, more than 100 countries committed to the Global Methane Pledge to collectively reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 (relative to 2020). By the end of COP27, more than 150 countries have signed the pledge. Replay the World Bank Live event.


2) Showcasing transformational climate and development reports

The Bank shared key findings from the first batch of its new core diagnostic, Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs), covering 24 countries, with the key  takeaway that countries can continue to grow and develop while reducing emissions if they embrace major change. Doing so could result in a 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. The CCDR synthesis paper, launched before COP, highlighted the fundamental link between climate and development: the future impacts of climate change depend on the choices countries make today, particularly those investments that also boost development outcomes, including in critical infrastructure or to safeguard communities and livelihoods.

CCDRs are country-specific roadmaps to green, resilient and inclusive development, showing which strategies will do the most, the fastest, to reduce GHG emissions in each country while achieving other development goals. Several CCDRs were showcased at COP, bringing together the Bank teams that worked on them with ministers and officials from China, South Africa, the Sahel G-5 countries, Philippines, Pakistan, Malawi, Rwanda, Argentina, and Nepal. Watch the replay of the COP27 event.

Capacity, robust policies, finance is critical for Malawi to build infrastructure that can withstand climate shock and stresses, to halt and reverse forest and environmental degradation, as well as to address climate impacts for labor productivity, as well as household livelihoods.
Fatimetou Mint Mohamed
Stella Gama
Director of Forestry, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, Malawi

3) Scaling up results-based finance

President Malpass introduced a major initiative at COP: the Scaling Climate Action by Lowering Emissions partnership to catalyze climate action through results-based climate finance – paid when agreed-upon results are achieved. SCALE will help bridge the climate finance gap by supporting countries to access international carbon markets. A high-level event showcased the benefits of programs that use results-based climate finance to generate high-quality, high-integrity emission reductions, such as by reducing deforestation and forest degradation, and ensure benefits are shared fairly among people and communities. SCALE will pool funding from donor countries, the private sector and foundations and deploy it at scale for the most impactful programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Replay the event featuring Bank Group President David Malpass, Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Vietnam Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, and World Bank Climate Change Global Director Jennifer Sara.

SCALE event at COP27

SCALE event at COP27.

Photo: Kaia Rose / Connect4Climate / World Bank

4) Supporting a just transition from coal in South Africa and launching a new hydrogen partnership

COP27 also featured a strong focus on financing the energy transition: ranging from a spotlight on South Africa, where the Bank Group has just approved $497 million project to decommission and repurpose the Komati coal-fired power plant using renewables and batteries; and the CIFs Accelerating Coal Transition program, where the Bank is the lead implementing partner, supporting the South African government make a just transition from coal. The Bank and its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program also launched the Hydrogen for Development Partnership (H4D) at COP27. The new global initiative aims to boost the deployment of low-carbon hydrogen in developing countries, catalyze financing for hydrogen investments, and help them accelerate their clean energy transition.

Replay the World Bank Live event on South Africa’s Just Transition.

Replay the Hydrogen for Development Partnership Launch.


5) Sharing innovative approaches for financing adaptation and resilience

COP27 closed with a landmark decision to establish a loss and damage fund to compensate the countries that are the most vulnerable to climate disasters while having least contributed to global emissions. Recognizing the importance of investments in adaptation and resilience, the Bank has a commitment to ensure that 50% of all its climate finance supports these efforts. At COP27, the Bank group discussed lessons learned from implementing the Global Risk Financing Facility, as well as how the Global shield would build on these efforts to increase financial protection for poor and vulnerable countries. Discussions were also hosted on a range of related topics: on insurance solutions for climate and disaster resilience, adaptive social protection, and resilient landscapes. Also, along with the other MDBs, the World Bank launched an updated methodology for adaptation climate co-benefits. Replay the Global Shield Financing Facility event.


6) Introducing a new blue economy program for Africa

The Bank announced a new program at COP27 to catalyze financing to address development challenges in coastal-marine areas of the African continent. The launch event was attended by Egypt’s Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Union and Environment Hamza Khamis Hamza, and Morocco’s Deputy Budget Director for the Ministry of Economy and Finance Youssef Farhat. The Blue Economy for Resilient Africa Program will fund a series of projects to accelerate adaptation to climate change by increasing ocean-based food security, managing coastal and marine resources, and preventing coastal erosion, flooding, and pollution. The effort will support planting, technical assistance, and maintenance over 20 years of 3,000 hectares of mangrove in Ghana, under the World Bank-financed West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program. Replay the event at COP27.

Artisanal fishing port of Koukoude, prefecture of Boffa, Guinea. Photo credit: Vincent Tremeau /World Bank

Artisanal fishing port of Koukoude, prefecture of Boffa, Guinea.

Photo: Vincent Tremeau / World Bank

7) Launching the food security dashboard

The Global Alliance for Food Security, jointly convened by the German G7 Presidency and the World Bank Group, launched the Global Food and Nutrition Security Dashboard to fast-track a rapid response to the unfolding global food security crisis. A global hunger crisis is being exacerbated by violent conflict, increasingly extreme weather events, and record high food prices. The dashboard will bring together disparate and wide-ranging information on food security into one place to help reduce transaction costs, improve transparency, and strengthen analysis. It can also help speed up financing by highlighting funding needs and gaps to inform a coordinated global food crisis response while also helping to advance medium to long-term food security interventions. Replay the launch event.

World Bank Group delegates also participated in a number of different events through the COP, including on carbon markets, and shared an update on the progress in developing approaches for implementing the WBG’s commitment to Paris Alignment.


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