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StatementSeptember 27, 2022

Remarks by Juergen Voegele, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development at the Global Methane, Climate and Clean Air Forum

World Bank Group’s Fast Mitigation Sprint

Thanks to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Global Methane Initiative, and the US Department of State for the invitation to join this event.

I cannot over-emphasize the urgency of targeting methane emissions. Given the short-term potency of methane, cost-effective interventions to reduce methane emissions are an immediate priority.

We have a long record of engagement on methane emissions reduction across the sectors with largest emissions, such as agriculture, energy, and sanitation and waste. We have recently added a repository on our website with examples of our work in this area.

  • For instance, in Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, and Vietnam, we are helping clients monitor short-lived climate pollutants linked to smog, an activity that also has tremendous long term health impacts on people of all ages, but particularly the young and infirm.   
  • In the energy sector, for the last 19 years our Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) has been supporting developing countries reduce flaring and venting of associated gas at oil production sites across the world. GGFR helps governments identify solutions to the array of technical, economic and regulatory barriers to flaring and venting reduction. GGFR also help develop country-specific flaring reduction programs, conduct research, share best practices, raise awareness, and secure global commitments to end routine flaring and venting.

I’d like to describe our plans for deepening our engagement on methane, short lived climate pollutants, and deforestation for a fast mitigation sprint.

We will do this, first, by scaling up our own operations, including by engaging with clients more systematically on fast mitigation issues.

  • As an example, when we recently met the President of a South American country with a large agricultural sector, our senior management specifically engaged with him on what he could do to reduce agriculture related methane emissions. We will consistently bring this approach to our interactions with our clients, to focus on what are the cost-effective ways for them to reduce methane emissions, and the role the private and public sectors can play.
  • Our new Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs) will help us make sure our work in this area is systematic.
    • CCDRs are one of the most transformative ways in which we are comprehensively assessing the links between climate change and a country’s future development trajectory. CCDRs have both a sectoral and whole-of-economy approach, meaning they can cover a lot of territory, including methane.
    • In the CCDR for Vietnam, for instance, we note that more than a third of the country’s emissions come from non-CO2 gases, most notably methane. The report points out that pursuing alternating wetting and drying approach, rather than simply flooding rice fields, can virtually eliminate methane production from those fields. Cost effective measures such as this one can reduce emissions, decrease production cost, and provide higher income for farmers – a triple win.
    • Going forward, we’re committing to consistently covering fast mitigation issues in our CCDRs.

Second, we’ve begun talking to a range of donors about increasing financial support. These resources will help us:

  • Provide more analytic support and build a deeper understanding of what it will take to advance fast mitigation in different sectors.
  • Better understand what has worked and what hasn’t; and help scale up solutions.

Finally, tackling methane effectively will require wider engagement with partners, including other Development Finance Institutions and the private sector. Working with a wide range of stakeholders means:

  • More consistent sharing of information on the fast mitigation work each of us is doing in client countries and with key private sector clients;
  • Possible joint engagements on fast mitigation projects with both public and private clients; and
  • A better understanding of how voluntary carbon markets and results-based financing can be used to support fast mitigation activities.

We look forward to sharing more on this in coming weeks.

Let me conclude by saying that the World Bank Group has the track record, convening power, and expertise to lead a global effort to expand the amount of finance targeting fast mitigation activities.

Taking on this challenge is crucial for the climate and the well-being of the planet.


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