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Last month, the World Bank Group launched its Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience. Under the plan, the international coalition will more than double its current financial support for climate adaptation to $50 billion between June 30, 2021 and July 1, 2025.

The increased financing will support activities that include:

  • Preventing deforestation and promoting sustainable forest management for 120 million hectares of forest in 50 countries
  • Supporting at least 100 river basin communities with climate-informed management strategies and providing at least 15 million people with improved flood and drought risk management infrastructure
  • Expanding access to higher quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services to help 250 million people in 30 countries better prepare for climate risks

In addition to raising its financing efforts, the World Bank plans to help countries systematically incorporate “climate risks and opportunities at every phase of policy planning, investment design, implementation and evaluation”. It will take an interdisciplinary approach to this by strengthening communication and collaboration between “traditional urban, water, agriculture, health and environment sector specialists.”

people standing on the banks of a river in Saint Louis, Senegal
Saint Louis, Senegal is considered by the UN to be the city in Africa most at-risk from the negative effects of climate change (Wikimedia: Remi Jouan)

The Group’s third objective under the plan is to create a new rating system to measure global progress on adaptation and resilience. Ideally, this rating system will incentivize both the public and private sectors to invest in adaptation measures. It will also allow for more effective reporting on the activities of the WBG and its clients, and will attempt to establish an international standard for financial markets and public procurement.

In a WBG press release, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva presented the vision for the plan, stating: “Our new plan will put climate resilience on an equal footing with our investment in a low carbon future for the first time. We do this because, simply put, the climate is changing so we must mitigate and adapt at the same time…We will ramp up our funding to help people build a more resilient future, especially the poorest and most vulnerable who are most affected.”

The objectives detailed in this new plan are promising. The World Bank carries significant financial weight, and has already demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting action on climate change issues. Its increased support to the most vulnerable communities has the potential to positively impact millions of lives and build systemic resilience in countries around the globe.

The Action Plan forms part of the WBG’s 2025 Targets to Step Up Climate Action – launched in December 2018 at COP24 in Poland.

Sources and Further Reading

World Bank Group Announces $50 billion over Five Years for Climate Adaptation and Resilience – World Bank Group

Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience – World Bank Group

World Bank to put support for adaptation ‘on a par’ with mitigation for first time – Climate Centre

2025 Targets to Step Up Climate Action – World Bank Group