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Fleeing drought conditions, women queue to receive food distributed by local volunteers at a camp for displaced persons in the Daynile neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu, in Somalia, May 18, 2019.
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World Bank Launches New 'Climate Change Action Plan' to Boost Funds for Protecting the Planet


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The World Bank has unveiled details of its new Climate Change Action Plan, which will increase financing for climate adaptation and mitigation around the world as part of its mission to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity, according to an April 2 press release. 

The organization announced that it will increase the proportion of climate financing dedicated to adaptation measures to 50%, a level that the United Nations called for in the inaugural Climate Adaptation Summit earlier this year. Climate adaptation covers all measures that make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. 

The World Bank also said that 35% of its financing going forward will have “climate co-benefits,” up from 26% in recent years. Climate co-benefits include things that double as climate mitigation or adaptation, such as improving the resilience of smallholder farmers or promoting low-carbon transportation. 

“The World Bank Group is already the largest multilateral provider of climate finance for developing countries, and has increased financing to record levels over the past two years,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement. “To deliver on our twin goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity, it is critical that the World Bank Group help countries fully integrate climate and development.

“It is also important we help countries maximize the impact of climate finance, with measurable improvements in livelihoods through adaptation, and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through mitigation,” he said. 

In recent years, the World Bank has emerged as a leading funder of climate action, having committed $83 billion in climate finance over the past five years. Its new Climate Change Action Plan seeks to enhance the impact of these funds. 

As part of its new approach, the World Bank will invest in data analytics to better gauge greenhouse gas emissions and the efficacy of certain mitigation and adaptation measures. 

The organization will also develop country-specific climate reports to help governments follow through on the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that they submitted under the Paris climate agreement. NDCs outline how a country will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

On the action side of things, the World Bank will direct funds to transforming the economic systems most responsible for the climate crisis — energy and food production, transportation, and manufacturing.

COVID-19 recovery plans present countries with an opportunity to accelerate these transformations.

As part of this shift toward a green economy, the World Bank also plans to support a “just transition out of coal,” by investing in jobs and skills training for coal workers who lose their jobs when factories get shut down and by investing in renewable forms of energy. 

Finally, the new action plan seeks to align with and mobilize support for the Paris climate agreement, the global climate action framework that aims to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

“Today, the world has a historic opportunity and necessity to change course — to overcome the rising dangers of hunger, social division, conflict, violence,and climate change,” Malpass said in his statement. “The World Bank Group will work with all stakeholders to address these challenges head on and support our clients to unlock the benefits of green, resilient, and inclusive development.”