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.
This was the issue the president of the World Bank Group, UN Secretary-General, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, private and public sector leaders discussed at an event, Universal Financial Access 2020, during the 2015 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings.
Global equities tumbled on Friday as investors grappled with renewed worries over Greek finances, fears of a regulatory clampdown on stock trading in China, and a flurry of disappointing U.S. corporate earnings. Most Asian markets closed lower Friday with Japan's Nikkei index losing 1.2%, but China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 2.2% to the highest level since March 2008. However, just after market closing the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that it has imposed sanctions on over-the-counter margin trading, which has been a major driver of China’s stock market rally. The Chinese stock-index futures slumped over 5% following the news, weighing on global investor sentiment. Europe’s Stoxx 600 index fell 1.8%, ending the week down 2.2%, the steepest weekly drop since December. U.S. equities slumped as well with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index falling 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively.
With the Ebola outbreak waning but not yet over, the three most affected countries must now find ways to rebuild their economies and strengthen their health systems to try to prevent another health crisis in the future.
To that end, the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone came to the World Bank on April 17 to ask for help funding an $8 billion, 10-year recovery plan for the three countries, with $4 billion needed over the next four years to accelerate recovery. More than $1 billion was pledged by the end of a high-level meeting at the start of the World Bank Group -IMF Spring Meetings – including $650 million from the World Bank Group.
When I was growing up in Albania in the mid-80s, gas flares were a constant and silent backdrop to our holidays by the seashore. The fiery plumes would shimmer in the early morning summer light while we squeezed like sardines into the bus that would take up to the beach. At night, from our cabin, they looked like rows of giant torches in the distance. As a child, I was mesmerized by the way the flames danced and shimmered from the tall chimneys in clouds of black curling smoke. I was told that the oil wells were on fire and eventually the flares burned themselves out. I didn’t ask many questions then; in communism asking questions was discouraged and could get one in trouble.
- development impact links
The S&P Rating Services slashed its sovereign rating on Greece further into junk territory as pressure mounted on the country to secure funding or risk a possible default. The rating agency downgraded Greece’s rating to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-‘ with negative outlook, and it warned that “without deep economic reform or further relief”, it expects Greece’s debt obligations will be “unsustainable.” Greece’s 3-year and 10-year bond yields surged to their highest levels since 2012 on the back of the downgrade.