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Rachel Kyte: Takeaways from the Spring 2015 Climate Ministerial

Rachel Kyte's picture
Spring Meetings 2015


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.  

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Submitted by Magnus Wolfe Murray on

Interesting piece - thanks for providing a window into these key meetings, ahead of the critical Paris conference this December. A few points:

- you mention that several "key economies" are actually showing how they are addressing harmful subsidies, pricing carbon... Yet just this month the IMF report showed that, globally, fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $10m a minute.

- Many of us would like to know how the actions of Canada and Australia to subsidise expanded exploitation of tar sands and coal, respectively, are in any way positive or "addressing harmful subsidies".

- China has recently signed a $65bn trade agreement with Pakistan that includes investment in a large number of new coal fired power plants; Pakistan also internally initiated extraction from low-grade coal mines in the Thar desert in Sindh. What has the WB and IMF done to influence this and steer Pakistan and China towards the "low carbon economy" that you refer to?

You mentioned that the CEO of Shell was present in the room of Economic Ministers. Can I ask how and why such a representative was present? could you share the names of the other representatives of corporations that were present? Were there any representatives of environmental organisations and if so which ones?

Around the world I hear so much rhetoric about an economic shift to low-carbon development, yet all I see in action is increased investment in fossil fuels. Please enlighten me how the WB and IMF are positioned around this challenge.

Many thanks in advance for your replies.

Magnus

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