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Speeches & Transcripts June 13, 2021

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the G7 Leaders’ Summit Media Briefing

Good morning.  I’m happy to join you virtually.  I’ll make remarks and then be happy to take questions.

Our Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report last week cautioned that the economic recovery is uneven.  Growth is concentrated in a few major economies.  Inequality is deepening because most developing countries are being left behind.  

Yesterday, I spoke with G7 Leaders about the World Bank Group’s work on health and preparedness.

I applauded the G7’s vital work and their donations of vaccines.  These will save lives around the world. But much more needs to be done.

The World Bank will have approved vaccination programs in over 50 countries by the end of June. It’s vital that we connect excess vaccine supplies with countries that are able to use them.  That’s a major challenge in terms of logistics and contracting.

On Friday, I announced our joint work on this with the African Union’s AVATT vaccination program.

We’re convening a task force with the IMF, WTO and WHO to help track supplies, coordinate delivery and accelerate deployment.

Increased supply is also vital.   The IFC is leading a consortium to support Africa’s regional vaccine production and manufacturing capacity, including investments by several G7 DFIs. Work toward investments in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda is at an advanced stage.

Beyond vaccines, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion since the start of the pandemic to help countries respond to Covid.  This has been the fastest and largest crisis response in our history, helping more than 100 countries address emergency health needs, strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery.

Today, I will speak with G7 Leaders about the World Bank Group’s work on climate, nature-based solutions and biodiversity.

The World Bank Group has increased climate financing to record levels during my first two years as President. We now provide more than half of all multilateral climate finance for developing countries; and two-thirds of climate adaptation finance.

Over the next five years, we’ll spend substantially more.  We’re explicit in wanting this spending to produce as much results as possible -- in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving successful adaptation.  

Our climate change action plan will help countries prioritize their climate spending and integrate climate and development in a holistic approach that includes nature-based solutions.   

We’re working with countries to make their NDCs more results oriented and better integrated with their development plans.  

Economic incentives are important, and we’re working to help countries stop subsidizing fossil fuels and begin to tax carbon taxes.

We’ll work with the largest emitters to identify the best ways to flatten their emissions curve and accelerate the downtrend.  

Our plan includes support for a just transition out of coal. This means new skills and jobs for coal miners and others dependent on coal. Also new sources of base load for the electricity grid.

At least half of our climate finance will be for adaptation. This is especially important for low-income countries.

We’re aligning our financing flows with the Paris Agreement.

We’re building diagnostics to help countries prioritize, and I want to mention our new Country Climate and Development Reports, or CCDRs.  These will look in depth at the goal of reducing carbon and adding jobs at the same time.

We’re planning 25 CCDRs.  I was in Moscow early this month and the Russian authorities have agreed to work with us on one of the first CCDRs.

In climate change, as in other areas, we will champion transparency.  We will support the development of green bonds and carbon credit markets that are underpinned by demonstrable climate impact – not just greenwashing.

I’ll say just a few words on biodiversity. Many developing countries rely on nature – for food, raw materials, fisheries, pollination, water filtration and more.

Much of that resource is in danger, and we’re working to reverse the trends.  The World Bank Group is supporting both COP 26 and Biodiversity COP15.

The urgency is clear, and I welcome the G7’s support for these critical agendas.

With that, I’ll be happy to take any questions.