World Bank Promises to Boost Climate Financing

Large Solar Farm

By Maura Forrest

October 15, 2015

The World Bank Group has announced it will increase its climate financing to a possible total of $29 billion a year to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the group will increase direct climate financing by up to one third by 2020, to $16 billion from a current average of $10.6 billion a year. The announcement came last week at the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, held in Lima, Peru.

The group will also continue to seek out co-financing for climate projects, which could provide up to an additional $13 billion a year by 2020.

“We are committed to scaling up our support for developing countries to battle climate change,” Kim said in a press release.

The commitment will help rich countries make good on a six-year-old promise to provide $100 billion a year in climate financing to developing nations by 2020. Estimates of how much financing is currently available range from less than $20 billion to $62 billion a year.

The World Bank said the investments will support renewable energy, energy efficiency, restoration of forests and landscapes, and water security, among other things.

Other organizations at the meeting made similar pledges. The European Investment Bank said it would increase the share of its funding for climate projects from 25 to 35 per cent, while the Inter-American Development Bankannounced it would double its climate-related financing by 2020.

For its part, Canada has said it will provide CAD$300 million to the Green Climate Fund, which was created in 2011 to collect funding for distribution among developing countries.

Over $10.2 billion has been pledged to the fund, though less than 60 per cent of that amount had been committed through signed contribution agreements by May 2015. Canada has not yet signed such an agreement.

This summer, the world’s fastest-growing economies, including Brazil, China, India, and South Africa, criticizedthe developed world for failing to move faster on climate financing.