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Climate Change: Sector Results Profile

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Development and Climate Action: Reinforcing Synergies

Development and Climate Action: Reinforcing Synergies


Creating climate-resilient and low-carbon development paths has become a development imperative. The World Bank continues to face unprecedented demand from many countries for support in their efforts to address development and climate change challenges. The World Bank has responded with a broad range of assistance through a combination of financial and other resources.

Full Brief—6 Pages
Development and Climate Action: Reinforcing Synergies
—PDF, April 2012


IDA Countries are the most vulnerable to risks associated with droughts, floods, coastal storms, and changes in agricultural productivity. The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change study estimates that the cost for IDA countries (including those that also have access to IBRD financing) will be around US$24 billion-US$26 billion per year over the next 10 years, rising to US$40 billion by 2050. The steepest increases (more than twofold) will take place in Sub-Saharan Africa. Funding those projected costs on top of current needs will be one of the key challenges for IDA.


The climate change agenda has been integrated as a priority across the World Bank Group. All of the 17 country assistance and partnership strategies prepared in Fiscal Year 2011 address climate change. There are increasing efforts to ensure synergies between adaptation and mitigation agendas when designing and planning climate actions and evaluating their impact. These include examples of interventions in forestry, which help sequester carbon and increase resilience; “climate smart” agriculture, and water efficiency measures in urban municipalities that reduce water and energy consumption and emissions from water pumping and distribution.


Here are some key results:

  • In Morocco: An IBRD-funded program supported reforms in about 80 municipalities to improve their collection services and upgrade their landfills. The share of properly disposed solid waste had increased from 10 percent to 30 percent by FY10. The CO2 avoidance from this tripled share of properly disposed waste is estimated at about 700,000-900,000 tons per year.
  • In Bangladesh: 630,000 consumers connected to the grid; about 750,000 remote households and rural shops provided with Solar Home Systems; supported deployment of 10 million energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps in exchange for incandescent lamps to reduce peak demand.

Bank Contribution

The World Bank Group’s renewable energy portfolio increased from a total of US$3.1 billion between FY2008-09 to US$4.9 billion in FY 2010-11. Development Policy Operations are emerging as a major vehicle for supporting clients’ climate change policy and institutional developments needed to tackle climate change. The World Bank Group has also made a commitment to reduce the impacts from its own daily operations through a comprehensive program to measure, manage, reduce and report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


The World Bank has engaged in major joint initiatives with the UN system, other multilateral development banks, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and other institutions. Examples of partnerships for climate action include:

  • Development of the Climate Finance Options Knowledge Platform with the UN Development Programme.
  • Cooperation with the OECD Development Assistance Committee secretariat, other multilateral development banks and several non-governmental organizations in improving the reliability and transparency of monitoring and reporting on climate finance flows.
  • SIDS DOCK Support Program, developed by the Alliance of Small Island States assists with the introduction of renewable energy and energy efficiency amongst small island developing states.

Moving Forward

Resilience to climate impacts and low emissions development are both key pillars of the increasing emphasis by the United Nations and Bretton Woods Institutions on the economic, environmental and social merits of Green Growth and could provide an opportunity to support actions with multiple benefits for climate and development. As part of the UN family, the World Bank will be increasingly working with other agencies on climate actions in the context of sustainable development.

Further attention will be given in IDA countries to help clients and partners understand and manage the adaptation-development linkages in different contexts. IBRD resources can be expected to be called for supporting transformational programs with lower emissions catalyzed by dedicated climate resources. It is also anticipated that there will be growing demand for IBRD capital for guarantees and insurance products to attract private sector investments in new technologies and in climate-vulnerable areas. Contributions to existing and emerging climate funds are expected to leverage considerable underlying financing from public and private sources.

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