World bank to double climate action investments to $200bn

The World Bank Group has announced plans to double its investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation to $200bn (£156bn) between 2021 and 2025.

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This will be the first time that the bank invests as much on adaptation as it does on reducing emissions, recognising the “mounting climate change impacts on the world’s poorest countries”.

The announcement was made as officials from around the world descended on Katowice, Poland, to begin talks on how to implement the Paris Agreement at the COP24 climate summit yesterday.

World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim, described climate change as an “existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable”, and that the new commitments show how seriously the bank takes the issue.

“We are pushing ourselves to do more and to go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do the same,” he said. “This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.”

The adaptation finance will go towards building more resilient homes, schools and infrastructure, along with climate smart agriculture and sustainable water management systems.

Half of the $200bn investment will come directly from the World Bank, with the rest coming from group members like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee.

The new financing will ensure that adaptation is undertaken in a systematic fashion, with the World Bank planning to develop a new rating system to track and incentivise progress.

It will also look to support higher-quality forecasts of climate change impacts, early warning systems and other information services to better prepare 250 million people in 30 developing countries.

This comes after the World Bank Group provided a record breaking $20.5bn in finance for climate action this year, meeting its target for 2020 two years ahead of schedule.

In addition, the bank said it would help at least 20 countries implement and update nationally determined contributions, and support the design of transformative, low-carbon policies.

IFC CEO, Philippe Le Houérou, said: “There are literally trillions of dollars of opportunities for the private sector to invest in projects that will help save the planet.

“We will do much more in helping finance renewable energy, green buildings, climate-smart agribusiness, urban transportation, water, and urban waste management.”
 

 

Image credit | Shutterstock
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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