Efforts at galvanizing global action against climate change has received significant boost with the pledge by the World Bank of around US$200 billion in support of countries to take ambitious action to cut down emissions.
Climate change is threatening global development and the fight to reduce poverty.
This Bank’s climate action investment is for the period 2021 to 2025 and involves promoting adaptation and resilience.
The funds, among other things, would ensure that adaptation is undertaken in a systematic fashion and a new rating system to track and incentivised global progress is also going to be developed.
Other actions would include supporting higher-quality forecast, early warning systems and climate information services to better prepare 250 million people in 30 developing countries for climate risks.
Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the Bank, announced this doubling of its current five-year investment at the ongoing 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland.
He said the $200 billion across the Group was made up of approximately $100 billion dollars in direct finance from the World Bank (IBRD/IDA) and another $100 billion of combined direct finance from the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency as well as private capital mobilised by the Group.
The 13-day COP 24, hosted by the Polish Government, is themed: “Changing Together”.
The goal is to find a rulebook on how to implement the Paris Agreement, which has a major of financing climate adaptation and resilience measures in poorest countries. Dr Kim said “Climate Change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable”.
“These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue, investing and mobilising $200 billion over five years to combat climate change.”He added that “we are pushing ourselves to do more and to go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do same.”
He said this was about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.The key priority of the new targets was to boost support for climate adaptation, recognising that millions of people across the world were already facing severe consequences of extreme weather events.
Ms Kristalina Georgieva, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, noted that people were losing their lives and livelihoods because of the disastrous effects of climate change.There was therefore the need not only to fight the causes, but to also adapt to the consequences that were often most dramatic for the world’s poorest people.
“This is why we at the World Bank commit to step up climate finance to $100 billion, half of which will go to build better adapted homes, schools and infrastructure, and invest in climate smart agriculture, sustainable water management and responsive social safety nets.”
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, emphasized the need to involve the younger generations in climate change agenda, so they would drive and complete the work started. He said “we need to harness their energy, invention and political power to raise climate ambition.
By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA’s Special Correspondent, Katowice, Poland (Courtesy GIZ, Ministry of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency)