It was an inspiring moment, to see history being made by Finance Ministers who are clear not only about the costs of climate change – running into the hundreds of billions annually – but also the opportunities of being bold on climate action.
By Petteri Orpo, Minister for Finance, Finland
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Climate change increases poverty and conflicts, as well as migration pressure.
It’s time to act. In terms of scale, the solution to the climate crisis is an exceptional challenge in the history of humankind. Emissions must be reduced quickly in all sectors of the economy.
At this year's climate ministerial of the World Bank Group/IMF Spring Meetings, 42 finance and development ministers discussed phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, putting a price on carbon and mobilizing the trillions of dollars in finance needed for a smooth, orderly transition to a low-carbon economy. World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change Rachel Kyte describes the conversations in the room and the key takeaways.
In January, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim urged the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos to look closely at a young, promising form of finance for climate-smart development: green bonds. The green bond market had surpassed US$10 billion in new bonds during 2013. President Kim called for doubling that number by the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit in September.
Just a few days ago—well ahead of the September summit—the market blew past the US$20 billion mark when the German development bank KfW issued a 1.5 billion Euro green bond to support its renewable energy program.