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The Trillion Dollar Question: Where Does Transport Investment Come From?

New analysis quantifies the total annual transport capital investment around the world. The Trillion Dollar Question: Tracking Public and Private Investment in Transport working paper finds that the global transport investment is between US$1.4 and US$2.1 trillion each year, enough to fund the capital budget of New York’s subway 88 times.

This finding and others have significant implications—both for the cities of today and for investing in the future cities we want.

Sum of Parts

Making the Green Climate Fund's Allocations Add Up to its Ambition...

This post is co-written with Neil Bird, Research Fellow in the Climate and Environment Program of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and Maliheh Birjandi-Feriz, former WRI intern with the Sustainable Finance team.

This working paper examines the resource...

5 Things We Learned in 2013 that Could Move the Needle on Sustainability

Two and a half millennia ago, Plato announced that “Human behavior flows from three things: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Unfortunately, our human and corporate behavior on climate change is not even close to where it needs to be. But if the great philosopher was right (and he usually was), 2013 may have been a game changer.

The big news from 2013 came from gains in knowledge. New tools and research are opening our understanding much wider than before. But will we act on this? Knowledge can spur action, but this path is not guaranteed.

Is Adaptation Short-Changed? The Imbalance in Climate Finance Commitments

One of the biggest successes from 2009’s COP 15 conference was securing funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. Donor nations agreed to “provide new and additional resources […] approaching $30 billion for the period 2010–2012, with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation.” They also committed to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020.  

But the agreement left a key question unresolved: how should funding be “balanced” between adaptation and mitigation? Should the funding balance be 50/50 between adaptation and mitigation or should it based on each country’s needs? Should funding include both private and public sector investment? These are some of the questions that negotiators will need to address during COP 19 in Warsaw.

But whatever they decide as being a “balanced commitment,” one thing is clear: finance for adaptation needs to increase in the coming years.

Within Reach

Strengthening Country Ownership and Accountability in Accessing Climate Finance

This working paper explores the concepts of ownership and accountability in climate finance in detail, and draws on experiences from development effectiveness and more recent experience of...

The Green Climate Fund: From Inception to Launch

A year after its inaugural meeting, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) left its fifth meeting in Paris earlier this month with a collective sense of urgency. The GCF is expected to become the main vehicle for disbursing climate finance to developing nations, so the decisions made at this most recent meeting significantly impact the future of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Encouragingly, Board members stepped up to the important task before them, making progress across several key issues. Their decisions made it clear: The GCF’s inception phase (referred to officially as "the interim period") is over—the focus now is on funding it and launching its operations.

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