03.12.2018_No239 / News in Brief

World Bank Doubles Climate Change Funding As EU Focuses On COP24 Agreement

Policies & Politics

3 Dec (NucNet): The World Bank is doubling its current five-year investments to around $200bn in support for countries to take ambitious climate action, a move the bank said represents significantly ramped up ambition and sends an important signal to the global community to do the same.

The bank said climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. “These new targets demonstrate how seriously we are taking this issue, investing and mobilising $200bn over five years to combat climate change,” World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim said.

The bank made the announcement today, the second day of the COP24 (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 24th Conference of the Parties) conference in Katowice, Poland, where governments are meeting to agree an implementation plan for the Paris agreement, which binds countries to hold global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration of a 1.5C limit.

The European Commission said in a statement that the EU’s priority for COP24 is adopting a strong Paris work programme, with clear provisions on all key issues including transparency, finance, mitigation and adaptation.

“The outcome must preserve the spirit of the Paris agreement, be applicable to all parties, take into account different national circumstances and reflect the highest possible ambition over time,” the commission said.

In a speech today the EU’s vice-president for energy union Maroš Šefčovič said the UN climate conference is “a credibility test”. He said: “We must put the landmark Paris agreement into practice by adopting a detailed rulebook that works. This will be a solid foundation helping all of us redouble our efforts back home.”

Mr Šefčovič said since 1990, the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 22%, which is more than the bloc’s 2020 target. “By the end of the next decade, this reduction will reach at least 45%,” he added.

But he warned that a recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was “the latest alarming wake-up call”, stressing that every bit of warming matters and urgent action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5C – “if we want to keep our planet safe”.

The IPCC report warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

It also concluded that nuclear power has a key role to play in fighting global warming and that renewables alone cannot solve the climate crisis.

Mr Šefčovič said the EU remains committed to the collective global goal to mobilise $100bn a year in public and private money by 2020 and through to 2025 to finance climate action in developing countries.

Last year, the EU, its member states and the European Investment Bank together provided €20.4bn in climate finance in third countries, making the EU the world’s biggest climate finance donor.

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David Dalton

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