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Opinion | How the World Bank can meet the needs of a changing climate

by SuperiorInvest

In 2009, donor countries pledged to mobilize 100 billion dollars per year by 2020 help lower income countries with mitigation and adaptation. They just gathered 83 billion dollars, of which $36.9 billion came from multilateral development banks and climate funds in 2020. These broken promises have not gone unnoticed. According to Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, chair of the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators, many developing countries, including those in Africa, have put forward ambitious plans to curb emissions in the future, but have been “held back by promised financial support that falls short of expectations.”

Although Covid, inflation and the energy crisis related to the war in Ukraine have strained government budgets everywhere, it would be short-sighted to ignore the importance and potential of investment in climate finance. According to Devesh Kapur, a Johns Hopkins professor and co-author of a history of the World Bank, he raised another $100 billion credit capacity Indeed, the World Bank could ask donors to put up about $20 billion in cash. The cost to the United States, which holds 16 percent of the shares, would be $3.2 billion, an amount that could be paid over five years.

Getting new money in the door is important, but it’s not enough. The bank should also adopt new strategies and new rules to enable it withdraw money faster where it is most needed and will be used most effectively. For example, some small island states they have per capita incomes that are too high under World Bank rules for soft loans, despite their acute vulnerability to climate change. These rules should be revised in some cases to ensure that climate finance prioritizes the areas that matter most.

The bank should also provide more climate-related below-market grants and funding, as Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said. asked for. World Bank and Multilateral Development Banks provided only 15 percent of their adaptation finance and less than 5 percent of mitigation funding through grants — a fraction he called “shockingly low.” Compared, Green Climate Fundmultilateral climate fund, awarded grants 41 percent time for adaptation and mitigation projects.

The transformation the World Bank requires will not be easy. But the departure of its former president, David Malpass, who he says he’s resigning in June could help build confidence in the bank’s climate work. Mr. Malpass, who was nominated by the Trump administration in 2019, has been the subject of controversy since his stunning public rejection last year to acknowledge the role of human activity in extreme weather caused by climate change.

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