12 Oct 2022, 12:08
Julian Wettengel

World Bank must put more focus on climate – German development minister

Clean Energy Wire / Financial Times / Guardian

The German government is advocating a fundamental reform of the World Bank with an increased focus on the climate crisis. “My goal is a World Bank which is well prepared to address global crises such as climate change and which is able to share its knowledge worldwide,” said development minister Svenja Schulze ahead of this week’s annual meetings. She said the institution has to make it more attractive for developing countries to use these loans for climate action and biodiversity conservation. “One option would be climate lending on better terms. Another would be targeted budget support for governments which want to pursue policy reforms to make their economies climate neutral,” she said. Her ministry said that Germany, together with the U.S. and other shareholders, had sent a number of reform proposals to the World Bank management and called for a road map by the end of this year.

The Financial Times had earlier reported that the U.S. and Germany were leading the reform calls from shareholders. U.S. treasury secretary Janet Yellen had already called on the bank to develop an “evolution road map by December”, and said that “deeper work” should begin by the spring, effectively setting it a deadline, the newspaper reported.

The World Bank is an international institution which provides loans and grants to low- and mid-income countries. A coalition of NGOs last week said the organisation had provided nearly 15 billion U.S. dollars of finance directly to fossil fuel projects since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, and is likely to have spurred far greater investment indirectly, reported the Guardian.

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