The World Bank Wants You!

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No, it’s not a joke—the World Bank Group is undertaking consultations right now on its Strategic Framework on Climate Change and Development. Yesterday I attended an internal consultation, and the turnout – over 100 staff – made it clear that World Bank staff are seeing that climate change affects their work. Global consultations with governments, civil society, the private sector, and other groups have been going on since March 2008 in places as far-flung as Brasilia and Jakarta. You also have a chance to get your two cents (or eurocents, pesos, or whatever) in by commenting online. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended through July 7. You can also see what others are saying on the site.

So why is the World Bank making climate change a central plank of its development agenda? It is convinced that increasing climate variability (a polite term, I suppose, for the increasing frequency of catastrophic events like tsunamis as well as only slightly less devastating droughts) and rising temperatures have serious implications for developing countries. In the words of the draft Strategic Framework:

Climate change presents an urgent challenge to the well-being of all countries…and particularly to the poorest countries and the poorest people in vulnerable regions… [T]he poorest countries and communities, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, are likely to suffer the earliest and most because of their geographical location, low incomes, and limited institutional capacity.

The World Bank has recognized that the private sector will be a key partner in confronting these challenges, both in terms of financing and developing more energy efficient technology. The IFC will be spearheading the World Bank Group’s endeavors to establish partnerships with the private sector. Near-term actions of the IFC include:

  • Enhanced support for renewable energy and energy efficiency investment
  • Partnerships to address climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Extending carbon finance activities

How else should the World Bank Group and the IFC be engaging the private sector? How can it shape incentives for the private sector to help solve these pressing problems with developing countries? Submit your comments here.

In addition to an area for comment submission, the Global Consultations page also provides an executive summary of the strategic framework (in Chinese, French, English, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish), a Powerpoint presentation, and Frequently Asked Questions. Oh, and don't forget the movie on Why is Climate Change a Development Issue?


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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