The World Bank is spending more money than ever on combatting climate change.
According to figures released by the institution it invested $20.5 billion during the 2018 fiscal year on projects, which address the impacts of climate change. This represents 32.1 percent of all funding and exceeds its target of spending at least 28 percent of its finances on tackling the problem by 2020.
“We have not just exceeded our climate targets on paper, we have transformed the way we work with countries and are seeing major transitions to renewable energy, clean and resilient transport systems, climate-smart agriculture and sustainable
World Bank sets $20 billion record for climate financing cities,” said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva.
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“This gives the most vulnerable people a fighting chance against climate change, by confronting and adapting to today’s impacts and working to contain future damage to our planet.”
As a result, the bank will set new targets at the December UN climate conference in Poland.
The World Bank’s climate strategy has created 22 investment plans to support climate-smart agriculture in 20 countries. 38 million people have also benefited from access to climate related information, such as early warning systems for extreme weather events.
Over the past year, the institution has invested $784 million on making transport systems withstand the impact of new climate challenges and supported 18 gigawatts of additional renewable energy.
About half of the World Bank’s climate finance is now going into adaptation programmes, highlighting the importance of responding to the changes already taking place to the planet.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a key member of the World Bank Group, has ramped up its level of sustainable investments, reaching $3.9 billion. It helped mobilise 4.4 billion
in private sector funding on climate as well.
“The lion’s share of economic growth is taking place in emerging markets, and at IFC we recognize that we must ensure this growth is inclusive and sustainable.
This is a trillion dollar investment opportunity,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We have a critical role to play to enable these opportunities to reach their full potential,” he added.
The resulting increase in financing for climate action has driven strong results, including generating or integrating 18 gigawatts of additional renewable energy into electricity grids; mobilising over $10
billion in commercial finance for clean energy; developing 22 investment plans for climate-smart agriculture in 20 countries; investing $784 million in improving climate resilient transport systems; and providing 38 million people in 18 countries with access to reliable climate information and early warning systems to deal with more frequent and intense natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
According to the World Bank, it’s main lending arms, IBRD and IDA, have almost doubled the share of projects that deliver climate co-benefits, increasing from 37 percent in FY16 to 70 percent in FY18.
Additionally, the World Bank financing for developing countries to adapt and build resilience to climate change also grew – with $7.7 billion in adaptation investments in FY18 compared to $3.9 billion the previous year.
The bank noted that close to 49 percent of its climate finance is devoted to adaptation, demonstrating a commitment to focus as much on supporting countries to adapt to climate change as on mitigating future emissions. Read more: Chilling prospects threaten global climate and SDGs
“Through our Creating Markets strategy, we are looking to expand successful platforms such as Scaling Solar and the EDGE green building initiative, as well as developing new solutions that will accelerate business in climate priority sectors,” said Le Houérou.