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Speeches & Transcripts July 8, 2021

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the V20 Climate Vulnerabilities Finance Summit

Thank you, Prime Minister Hasina, for your leadership in bringing issues of adaptation and resilience to the forefront of the global climate dialogue.

I’m pleased to join you and your distinguished guests today to reaffirm the World Bank Group’s support to this group of countries.  You are facing the twin crises of COVID and climate change, and many other pressing development challenges.

We’ve substantially expanded our engagements with countries to support the response to the health and economic aftershocks of the pandemic. Over the last 15 months, 51 vaccines operations have been approved, and we announced last week that the World Bank is expanding our available vaccine financing to $20 billion.

Under our newly launched Climate Change Action Plan, we’re helping countries integrate their climate and development goals, expanding our climate financing and focusing it on getting the most results.

Working closely with our client countries, we will identify and prioritize action on the most impactful mitigation and adaptation opportunities, and guide our climate finance accordingly. A new core diagnostic, the Country Climate and Development Report, will provide us with the data to help countries achieve this. 

Over the next five years, an average of 35% of all our financing across the World Bank Group will support climate investments

And at least 50% of the climate finance will go to adaptation investments.   For example, this can support projects like the Bangladesh Delta Plan.  Through it, we’ve invested $1.8 billion to improve water access, sanitation and embankment protection. This also advances efforts to improve inland water transport while restoring the ecology of the rivers of Dhaka.

We’re also thinking about how to have impact beyond providing direct finance.

Public budgets alone are not enough for the scale of climate investments we need, so we are also mobilizing private investment:

We are deploying concessional finance and political risk insurance to unlock private capital for impactful climate investments that would otherwise be too risky for some markets.

We’re also making it easier for the private sector to invest in the poorest countries. For example, IDA has a private sector window that draws in private capital to invest in higher-risk projects, including for resilience building.

At the same time, we’re working with governments and investors to better understand and overcome roadblocks to encourage private sector investments in adaptation.

Bangladesh has had extraordinary adaptation successes; it has invested in cyclone preparedness, community-based early warning systems, and hydromet initiatives, among others.

Let me also recognize the excellent work of all V20 countries represented here today – from the island and ocean states of the Pacific and the Caribbean to the land-locked nations of the Sahel and beyond.

Over the past few years, the World Bank Group has provided around two-thirds of all the multilateral climate adaptation finance for developing countries. As you address the challenges of adaptation, we will do everything possible to support your efforts to build resilience and greater preparedness. On behalf of the World Bank Group, we look forward to working with you and learning from you as we tackle these crises together. 

Thank you.