The global landscape of development finance is changing. Some formerly poor countries are becoming richer, and new, large-scale investors have entered the field. At the same time, the global community is becoming increasingly aware of the need to enhance social well-being and environmental sustainability. This working paper looks at different ways in which the World Bank has attempted to navigate this landscape with its safeguard policies. It provides lessons for the Bank and other institutions that are looking to encourage national ownership over the safeguard process while holding both themselves and governments accountable to minimum social and environmental standards.
This working paper is part of WRI’s Climate Finance Series, which tackles a broad range of issues relevant to public donors, intermediaries, and recipients of climate finance. A subset of this series, including this working paper, examines how public funds can leverage private sector investment in climate-relevant projects to help meet developing countries’ significant investment needs. This paper maps climate-relevant investments of select multilateral agencies – the World Bank Group, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) – to identify trends in their investment practices. Subsequent working papers will map the activities of other public institutions. The aggregated findings will be synthesized into recommendations that inform the future public provision of climate finance with respect to leveraging private sector capital.
The World Bank Group just released a groundbreaking new report on climate change, called Turn Down the Heat, which offers a vivid assessment of what 4 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise would mean for the world.