The World Bank Group announced on Monday a new set of climate targets for 2021-25 and that it was doubling its current five-year investments to around $200 billion in support of countries taking ambitious climate action.
One of the world’s largest sources of funding for developing countries, the World Bank Group announced on Monday that it would increase its current five-year investments to around $200 billion, with a particular focus on projects for climate adaptation and resilience.
“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue, investing and mobilizing $200 billion over five years to combat climate change,” said World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim. “We are pushing ourselves to do more and to go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do the same. This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.”
The $200 billion promised by the World Bank will be made up of around $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank — both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) — and around $100 billion of combined direct finance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and private capital mobilized by the World Bank Group.
The World Bank is focusing on increasing support for climate adaptation under the understanding that millions of people around the globe are already facing the severe consequences of increasing extreme weather events. Specifically, the World Bank will look to ramp up direct adaptation finance to reach around $50 billion over the five years of the World Bank’s new policies.
Adaptation efforts will include supporting higher-quality forecasts, early warning systems, and climate information services, in an effort to better support and inform and prepare 250 million people across 30 developing countries for impending climate risks.
“People are losing their lives and livelihoods because of the disastrous effects of climate change. We must fight the causes, but also adapt to the consequences that are often most dramatic for the world’s poorest people,” said World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva. “This is why we at the World Bank commit to step up climate finance to $100 billion, half of which will go to build better-adapted homes, schools and infrastructure, and invest in climate-smart agriculture, sustainable water management and responsive social safety nets.”
“There are literally trillions of dollars of opportunities for the private sector to invest in projects that will help save the planet,” added IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “Our job is to go out and proactively find those opportunities, use our de-risking tools, and crowd in private sector investment. We will do much more in helping finance renewable energy, green buildings, climate-smart agribusiness, urban transportation, water, and urban waste management.”
The World Bank’s new policies and investment commitment build on its record-breaking $20.5 billion that it has already delivered in 2018 in finance for climate action — doubling delivery from the year before the Paris Agreement and meeting its own 2020 target two years ahead of schedule.
Unsurprisingly, the World Bank’s new commitment is being praised by those in and around the world.
“The World Bank’s ambitious climate plan is very welcome, coming as negotiators gather in Katowice for COP24,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. “With climate impacts already taking a heavy toll around the globe, we know a far greater response is needed. The Bank’s bold commitment to double its climate finance in the next five years, including $50 billion toward adaptation, should accelerate action, strengthen national capacities, and enhance resilience for the most vulnerable.
“There’s no doubt that investing in climate action is the smart choice—it can reduce poverty, inspire innovation, and bring far-reaching benefits to society. The Bank is sending a strong signal that should unlock additional funds from governments, other development agencies, and the private sector.”