Nearly two months before this year’s United Nations Climate Conference, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim made a special announcement Friday, Oct. 9, of the institution’s commitment to increase climate financing to potentially $29 billion a year by 2020.
“As we move closer to Paris, countries have identified trillions of dollars of climate-related needs,” Kim said in a press release.
The announcement was made at a special meeting of finance ministers alongside the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund in Lima, Peru. The expansion will contribute to the overall funding promise made by developed countries to finance $100 billion per year by 2020.
That $100 billion promise is a key element in the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris, which aims to strike a global agreement on climate.
The premise for creating the $100 billion per year goal is to help poor countries combat the effects said to be caused by the carbon dioxide emissions released by developed countries using high-carbon-emitting energy resources. Developing countries only produce 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but are said to suffer from numerous disasters linked to rising temperature.
The climate contributions have been placed in a Green Fund, which reached nearly $62 billion last year and is expected to finance clean energy infrastructures to mitigate or prevent carbon dioxide emissions, and build a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.
Right now, the World Bank Group provides an average of $10.3 billion a year in direct financing for climate action, which at current levels could increase to $16 billion by 2020. The increase will help to support restoration of degraded forests, renewable energy, and enhanced water security, among other initiatives.
The pledge followed a similar announcement made Thursday by finance ministers of 20 vulnerable countries or V20, who vowed to join forces to press for climate action by pooling funds internationally in order to increase their access to affordable insurance.
Some poor countries have been frustrated by the lack of a clear funding plan by wealthy donor countries, and other susceptible countries complained that funding was being spent more on development and less on climate resilience.
Ahead of Paris, all countries (wealthy and poor) are tasked with preparing their own national plans (called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions [INDCs]) for reducing emissions and building resilience. The proposed draft climate agreement presented on Oct. 5, a 20-page document reduced from 90 pages lacks INDCs from some countries.
During the Lima meetings, the UNFCCC—the U.N. body charged with supporting the development of a climate change treaty—welcomed the increased actions by V20 to stimulate more cash flow, noting that financing is at the core of this environmental issue.