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While attending the global climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, World Bank president Robert Zoellick would help launch a number of initiatives, including a new multimillion-dollar fund to support developing country domestic carbon trading systems.
The issue of funding for developing countries from developed nations, for the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, was one of the major sticking points at the yearly negotiations held by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Other activities launched included a new initiative to boost access to renewable energy by climate vulnerable island States, and an international ‘road map’ for action on how agriculture could simultaneously achieve increased food productivity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and enhanced resilience to climate change.
While in Cancun at the UNFCCC 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), Zoellick would meet with government leaders at the conference to help work towards a successful outcome and share experiences and lessons learned on effective climate action.
He would take part in events drawing attention to the needs of developing countries, and in particular small island States, in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, soil carbon and agriculture, carbon finance, and deforestation.
“We know that the poorest countries will suffer the earliest and the most from climate change. They will bear the brunt of changing weather patterns, water shortages, and rising sea levels even though they are the least equipped to deal with them,” said Zoellick.
“We also know that, while these countries would like to see a comprehensive global accord on climate change, they are not waiting for one. They are acting now, and acting differently to shift from being climate vulnerable, to being climate smart. We are fully engaged and have been ramping up our efforts with countries as they put in place practical, effective solutions leading to low-carbon growth and inclusive efforts to overcome poverty,” added Zoellick.
He noted that four out of five of the World Bank Group’s client countries have now made climate change among key priorities for their anti-poverty plans.
In 1990, about 10% of countries included climate change in their development plans. That number has grown to over 80%.
The bank group said that it has worked on global climate change with donor and developing nations, using its financing experience to help provide developing countries with some of the financial resources they need.
Further to regular investments, this has taken place through a number of initiatives.
The joint World Bank/Regional Development Bank Climate Investment Funds, have seen $6,4-billion pledged, with $4,2-billion in investment plans already endorsed to support more than $40-billion in clean technology projects, as well as extensive pilot projects on resilience, a programme on renewable energy for the poor, and a forest investment programme.
With regard to carbon finance funds, the World Bank manages more than $2,5-billion in mitigation and adaptation investments across 11 funds and facilities financed by 24 governments and government agencies, as well as 63 private sector companies.
The World Bank added that financing for low-carbon growth initiatives, which included energy efficiency, renewable energy, reduction of gas flaring, and policy, regulatory, and financial support reached a record $5,5-billion in the 2010 financial year, which ended on June 30, 2010. This was an increase of 62% in 2009.
According to the UNFCCC, about 85% of the financing needed to tackle climate change would need to come from the private sector.
In the 2010 financial year, the International Finance Corporation committed $1,6 billion in climate-related investments, and planned to double this rate of activity by 2013.
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