Environment

World Bank Launches Ambitious Climate Action Plan

Washington: The World Bank has unveiled an ambitious climate action plan that will help developing countries add 30 gigawatts of renewable energy, bring early warning systems to a hundred million people and develop climate-smart agriculture investment plans for at least 40 nations.

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The target for achieving this is 2020, officials said as they released details of the Climate Change Action Plan, which comes just two weeks before world leaders officially sign the landmark Paris Agreement in New York. “Following the Paris climate agreement, we must now take bold action to protect our planet for future generations,” World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said.

“We are moving urgently to help countries make major transitions to increase sources of renewable energy, decrease high-carbon energy sources, develop green transport systems, and build sustainable, livable cities for growing urban populations. Developing countries want our help to implement their national climate plans and we’ll do all we can to help them,” he said.

To maximise impact, the World Bank Action Plan is focused on helping countries shape national policies and leverage private sector investment.

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, aims to expand its climate investments from the current $2.2 billion a year to a goal of $3.5 billion a year, and leverage an additional $13 billion a year in private sector financing by 2020. Apart from its own financing, the World Bank also intends to mobilise $25 billion in commercial financing for clean energy over the next five years.

The Bank will also continue its work to help countries put a price on carbon pollution, in order to create incentives for public and private sector decision makers to make the right climate choices, a statement said.

This is a plan that primarily targets developing countries that the Bank works with, helping them turn their ambitious commitments made in December in Paris into a reality, John Roome, the Bank’s senior director for climate change told reporters during a conference call. “It’s a plan that aims at swinging the pendulum away from investments in fossil fuels towards investment in clean energy, and to put new resources to critical areas like green transport and climate smart agriculture,” he said.

Under the plan, the Bank would be working on expanding universal access to early-warning systems in the case of disasters, with the goal to provide 100 million additional people in 15 developing countries with access to these early-warning systems by the year 2020.

(PTI)