The World Bank has committed US$200 billion to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation between 2021 and 2025, a doubling of its previous budget, and is funding the two aspects of the crisis equally for the first time.
Half of the money will take the form of direct funding, The Guardian reports. The rest will consist of loans and other types of assistance through the various arms of the World Bank Group, “aimed at mobilizing further finance from the private sector.”
“We are pushing ourselves to do more and go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do the same,” said Bank President Jim Yong Kim. With the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at greatest risk, “this is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.”
“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” he added. “These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue.”
This year, the World Bank is allocating $20.5 billion to climate change, meeting its Paris Agreement commitment two years early.
“Adapting to the effects of climate change that are already inevitable will be a key aim, and for the first time the World Bank will put this effort on an equal footing with reductions in emissions, investing $50 billion in direct finance to adaptation over the period,” The Guardian notes. UN Climate Action says the new injection of funds “will help 100 cities achieve low-carbon and resilient urban planning and transit-oriented development.”
“People are losing their lives and livelihoods because of the disastrous effects of climate change,” said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. “We must fight the causes but also adapt to the consequences.”
“There are literally trillions of dollars of opportunities for the private sector to invest in projects that will help save the planet,” said Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the International Financial Corporation, one of the major branches of the World Bank.
“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.”
“With climate impacts already taking a heavy toll around the globe, we know a far greater response is needed,” responded World Resources Institute President Andrew Steer. “Investing in climate action is the smart choice—it can reduce poverty, inspire innovation, and bring far-reaching benefits to society.”