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Climate Change: A Priority for the World Bank

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World Bank Responds to Climate Change

World Bank Responds to Climate Change

World Bank's Role

December 6, 2007 - Speaking in conjunction with the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Kristalina Georgieva, Director for Strategy and Operations at the World Bank said “climate change is a very high priority for the World Bank. It is an important dilemma to identify how developing economies can sustain high growth rates in a low-carbon manner.”

According to Georgieva, the majority of risks associated with climate change - decrease in agricultural productivity, increasing droughts, floods, and storms - will be concentrated in the developing countries.

Speaking of the World Bank’s role in climate change, Georgieva said the Bank has significantly increased its attention to low carbon growth in client countries. “The Bank is the most significant implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Seventy percent of what the GEF have done to tackle climate change has been done through Bank projects.”

Describing the World Bank as an institution which sees environment as an integral part of its development agenda, Georgieva highlighted that the World Bank is the first international organization to measure the amount of low carbon in its energy portfolio. It currently represents 40 percent of the energy portfolio.

Commentary on World Bank's Response to Climate Change

Kristalina Georgieva, Director for Strategy and Operations at the World Bank talks about the World Bank's response to climate change and expected outcomes of Bali Climate Conference

Kristalina Georgieva, Director for Strategy and Operations at the World Bank
Kristalina Georgieva
  • - Climate change, is it a priority for the World Bank? (1m:03s) wmv
  • - Are we late in joining the global discussions on climate change? (2m:36s) wmv
  • - Is global warming primarily casused by the industrialized countries? (2m:01s) wmv
  • - Is the World Bank advocating “low carbon economy?” (2m:01s) wmv
  • - Is the World Bank pursuing new technologies to assist developing countries? (1m:36s) wmv
  • - Is there a role for the World Bank in global negotiations on climate change? (2m:53s) wmv
  • - How would you deem Bali Conference a success? (1m:42s) wmv

Low Carbon Development

While agreeing that there are divergent views on the causes of global warming among industrialized and developing countries, she noted that the future growth in developing countries depends on the World's ability to tackle green house gas emissions.

Drawing parallels to the industrial revolution of 17th century, Georgieva said “we are in the midst of a transformational process, a revolution – a shift from high carbon to low carbon development.” She predicted that in a few years societies will most likely live in a world where there is a price on carbon. “Economies are already starting to shift in this way,” said Georgieva.

Expected Outcomes of Bali Conference

Georgieva said the presence of finance, trade, development ministers at the Bali Conference engaging in finding solution to move forward will be critical. She reiterated the need to accelerate concessional finance to poor countries. She said that the World Bank has lot to offer through the International Development Association (IDA).

Lastly, she said “Bali can build trust between the developing and developed countries in the negotiating process.” She noted that the Bali conference will be deemed successful if an agreement is reached to negotiate on four themes, Mitigation, Adaptation, Technology advancement, and finance. "There needs to be a clear timeline and a road map to bring closure in all these areas.”

Additional Resources

- Climate Change in South Asia
Climate change is no longer an issue for the distant future. Climate change is already taking place, and the South Asian countries, particularly the poorest people, are most at risk. (Read More »)

- Blog - End Poverty in South Asia
Shanta Devarajan, World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia, shares insights about the fight against poverty in the region. (Read More »)

- South Asia: Development Data
A wide range of social and economic measures on South Asia, including links to the World Bank's most important online development databases. (Read More »)

- South Asia: Analysis and Research
Compilation of all the World Bank's publications on South Asia, with 'search' options and links to analysis and research on other South Asian countries. (Read More »)

- World Bank Program in South Asia
Launching pad to all information on World Bank activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.(Read More »)

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