World Bank Pledges $200 Billion to Fight Climate Change

Dubbing climate change one of the most pressing existential threats currently facing the world, the World Banking Group has earmarked an extra $200 billion to fund global environmental projects during 2021-2025.

This sum effectively doubles the World Bank’s commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. It follows World Bank reaching another of its commitments—channeling $20.5 billion to the cause by 2020—two years early. Not content with this, and seeing how world leaders have started to slip on their Paris Agreement promises, the World Bank is throwing yet more money at the problem with the hope that it can drive change.

“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, said a press release, “These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue, investing and mobilizing $200 billion over five years to combat climate change.”

With these comments, the World Bank’s president also issued a rallying call to world leaders: “We are pushing ourselves to do more and to go faster on climate and we call on the global community to do the same. This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.”

The World Bank—a joint effort of five international institutions which together comprise the largest funding and information source for developing economies—is taking particular aim at what’s known as climate change adaptation measures. This is largely self explanatory: what things can we do to help developing economies in particular weather the onslaught of climate change and the environmental problems it brings? It’s looking at issues like rising sea levels and the tandem risk of flooding or extended dry seasons leading to a higher risk of rampant wildfire and poorer growing seasons.

Funding initiatives have tended to look to other areas, for example climate change prevention. These are, of course, worthy causes, but they overlook the fact that climate change is happening right now and it is the world’s poorest who are suffering a great deal of the effects. The World Bank will funnel $50 billion over FY21-25 to adaptation measures, for the first time putting it on equal footing with other areas of climate change strategy financing.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who remains a key commentator on the climate change fight, told Reuters that this kind of action will be important: “Climate change is already having a disastrous impact on people right around the world and we are nearing the point of no return,” said Ban. “So we must take bold action to adapt to the reality of the threat facing us all.”

In addition to this, it will direct funding at early warning systems that can alert at-risk areas—for example people living on the coast—at the earliest possible time that they will likely see an extreme weather event. The aim here is to give more time to prepare for things like devastating hurricanes and storm surges to minimize loss of life and loss of infrastructure.

Another area that the World Bank will be funding with this new pledge is what has been called “smart agriculture”.

We have outsourced a lot of our food production in order to get food to the West more cheaply. That has put the burden on poorer countries. Across Asia and both North and South Africa, the trend is often similar, where prosperous and relatively prosperous areas rely on poorer, rural areas to produce food There are exceptions, and some give us good models we may replicate for food self-sufficiency.

The problem with outsourcing food production in this way, of course, is that by failing to pay these regions what they truly deserve we have effectively kept them poor. By keeping them poor we have not allowed them the opportunity to grow infrastructure, which threatens food security.

Without that infrastructure, food production is more vulnerable to climate change threats, like adverse weather. This puts the food supply in jeopardy, often with the poorest most under threat because they get to come to the table last.

The World Bank’s funds will look at ways to help food growers adapt to predicted weather changes—for example longer drought seasons—and ensure that food production remains sustainable in some of the most at-risk regions. The World Bank is also looking to protect forest cover, which will be key to keeping our planet’s shifting climate in check.

It seems almost redundant to say that these funds are critically important, but we must also acknowledge that without global leaders doing more to fight climate change, this funding remains a drop in the ocean compared to the seismic level of activity needed to truly get us ahead in the climate change fight. Still, any progress is welcome, and these funds may help to alleviate the burden placed on some of the world’s poorest and most at-risk.

Take Action

The World Bank’s pledged funds will certainly make a difference, but we need the whole world on board, if we are going to mitigate the fallout from climate change. That includes the United States. Sign the petition telling the Trump administration that it’s time for the U.S. to start taking climate change seriously.

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

Photo credit: Getty Images.

59 comments

Nicolas Nasrallah
Nicolas Nasrallahabout a month ago

It's the corporation that are the main cause of climate change. Factory farming, clearing forests for mining , oil drilling , coal burning electrical plants and fossil fuel dependancy. All the above are supported by the world bank that has made trillions from condoning such practices. TWB ows this planet lot more than billions of dollars.

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Clare O
Clare Oabout a month ago

The world's population is too large.

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Clare O
Clare Oabout a month ago

I buy local food where possible. And don't forget American farmers suck irrigation water out of aquifers to grow wheat to ship to Asia. How stupid are they?

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Clare O
Clare Oabout a month ago

my whole life has been environmentally friendly so don't blame me.

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Clare O
Clare Oabout a month ago

th

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salah z.
salah z.about a month ago

We all need to help

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salah z.
salah z.about a month ago

Let's fight climate together

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salah z.
salah z.about a month ago

#ecosia

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salah z.
salah z.about a month ago

Good news

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salah z.
salah z.about a month ago

Thanks

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