As the finance ministers of the G8 countries begin their annual meetings this Friday in Osaka, Japan, they are expected to endorse two multibillion dollar funds to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
But an analysis released today finds that the intended administrator of those funds, the World Bank, has not yet met existing G8 expectations to integrate climate change considerations into its lending and operations.
“The World Bank needs to demonstrate leadership to steer investment towards low carbon, environmentally sustainable development choices,” said Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute, which produced the analysis. “This will be difficult to achieve while simultaneously investing in many ‘business as usual’ projects, such as coal-fired power.”
At the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, the G8 tasked the World Bank with mobilizing an “investment framework for clean energy.” The WRI analysis finds that during the past three years, less than 30 percent of the World Bank’s lending to the energy sector has integrated climate considerations into project decision-making. As late as 2007, more than 50 percent of the World Bank’s $1.8 billion energy-sector portfolio did not include climate change considerations at all.
Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom have pledged more than US$5.5 billion to a World Bank-administered Clean Technology Fund that will be formally launched at next month’s G8 Heads of State Summit in Hokkaido, Japan.
“The World Bank is the key to leveraging these funds for the greatest impact on investment choices worldwide to address climate change,” Lash added.
Jacob Werksman, director of WRI’s Institutions and Governance Program, said, “If the World Bank and other multilateral development banks are to be entrusted with managing the Clean Technology Fund, they must demonstrate that they are consistently helping developing countries integrate climate change into economic development choices. Accounting for the cost of carbon through rigorous analysis of greenhouse gas emissions needs to drive investment choices. Progress along these lines must be made much more rapidly than it has been to date.”
Jonathan Talbot, media officer, (+1) 202 729-782, email@example.com