World Bank Group makes progress in climate co-benefits financing

Hohoe (V/R)- The World Bank Group announced Thursday that in 2018 fiscal year (FY), 32.1 percent of its financing had climate co-benefits.

It said the Group has already exceeded the target set in 2015 that 28 percent of its lending volume would be climate-related by 2020.

This amounted to a record-setting $20.5 billion in climate-related finance delivered in the last fiscal year – the result of an institution-wide effort to mainstream climate considerations into all development projects.

The 28 percent target was a key goal of the Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan, adopted in April 2016, and was designed to support countries to deliver on their national goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change, a release to the Ghana News Agency stated.

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; and mobilizing over $10 billion in commercial finance for clean energy;

It said it developed 22 investment plans for climate-smart agriculture in 20 countries; investing $784 million in improving climate-resilient transport systems.

Again, it provided 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.

Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Chief Executive Officer, said “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 cities.

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.

The World Bank’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.

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.

Now, close to half (49 percent) of all World Bank 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.

In FY18, the climate commitments of IFC – the main member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector in emerging markets – amounted to 36 percent of IFC’s own account and mobilization.

This translates to over $3.9 billion in own account climate-smart investments, and an additional $4.4 billion in core mobilization, or nearly $8.3 billion in total.

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 Houerou, IFC’s Chief Executive Officer.

We have a critical role to play to enable these opportunities to reach their full potential. 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.

Climate is one of three focus areas in the mid-term strategy for MIGA, the World Bank Group’s political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm.

Almost 60 percent of the projects guaranteed by MIGA in FY18 supported climate mitigation and adaptation across the globe. Of these, over three-quarters were in renewable energy.

Mobilizing private capital in support of climate action is a core priority for us, Keiko Honda, Executive Vice President and CEO of MIGA, said.

From wind and solar projects in Africa to green buildings in fragile and conflict-affected situations, we are committed to minimizing the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable.

The World Bank Group intends to announce new targets at the forthcoming UN climate conference in Poland in December 2018.

These will go beyond 2020, with increased ambition to help countries reduce their emissions and to be better prepared for the increasing climate risks they will face.

Source: Ghana News Agency