WB to raise climate financing for Mena region to $10 billion - GulfToday

WB to raise climate financing for Mena region to $10 billion

People take a group photo in front of Al Wasl Dome at Expo City at the COP28 UN Climate Summit in Dubai on Wednesday.  Associated Press

People take a group photo in front of Al Wasl Dome at Expo City at the COP28 UN Climate Summit in Dubai on Wednesday. Associated Press

Meskerem Brhane, Regional Director for Sustainable Development, Middle East and North Africa for the World Bank, has affirmed the bank’s plans to increase climate financing for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to $10 billion by 2025.

In statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) at COP28, Brhane said, “In the last three years, from 2021 to 2023 alone, the World Bank has provided $6.3 billion in climate financing for Mena.” She added that the funding supports both reducing net emissions and resilience projects, helping countries prepare for and respond to future natural disasters. “Last year, we provided $800 million in climate-related financing to Morocco, Jordan and Lebanon.”

Brhane stated that the World Bank had integrated climate into all its work across the Mena region and is on track to align 100 per cent of new operations with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

She noted that the World Bank’s Mena Climate Change Roadmap, which runs from 2021-2025, focuses on four key areas: food systems, water security, energy transition, and sustainable finance.

Regarding the UAE’s hosting of COP28, she said, “By hosting this event, the UAE signals its leadership in climate change, its ability to work with other countries to tackle global issues and its own ambition in this space.” The official added that the GCC countries can lead the global dialogue on energy transition and renewable energy deployment by further aligning their growth pathways with global climate action and decarbonisation trends.

She noted, “The GCC is already ahead in developing green and blue hydrogen projects.” The World Bank official said that by embracing green growth strategies, the region’s GDP could potentially grow to over $13 trillion by 2050.

She also highlighted that private sector investment is crucial for the success of climate initiatives in GCC countries. Significant investments will be needed to transform resource consumption, energy production, manufacturing processes, and other economic systems to achieve climate objectives.

She mentioned that the World Bank published the Country Climate and Development Reports for Mena countries to identify the most serious climate risks for a country and its potential impact on the country’s development. It also helps prioritise the most impactful actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost adaptation and resilience.

The ultimate goal is to help countries deliver on broader development goals in the face of climate change risk, she concluded.

The World Bank Group said recently that it will increase the amount it spends annually on climate-related projects to 45 per cent of its financing over 2024 to 2025, up from 35 per cent now, as part of a policy overhaul to better respond to climate change.

In a statement, the WBG said, “With an ambitious financing package announced at COP28, the World Bank Group is helping people in developing countries better withstand the devastation of climate change and create a better world for their children and grandchildren.” The World Bank Group is pushing to do more to battle climate change and do it faster, devoting 45 per cent of its annual financing to climate-related projects for the fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025.

This increased ambition is more than just a laudable percentage-it’s putting to work more than $40 billion-around $9 billion more than previously programmed. In 2021, the Bank announced a goal to reach an average of 35 per cent by 2025 and is currently ahead of schedule, running at an average of 36.3 per cent since July 2022.

In October, the World Bank secured an ambitious-and expanded-mandate to create a world free of poverty on a liveable planet. The new climate pledge is a concrete example of the Bank delivering on that mandate.

In addition to boosting resilience and adaptation among those hardest hit by the effects of climate change, World Bank Group projects also will focus on safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity to protect the health of people and the planet.

Having pledged to squeeze more from its balance sheet to fund the fight against climate change, the Bank will continue to deliver on adaptation to help countries devastated by climate shocks and on mitigation to help reduce the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

Island nations: Creating effective solutions to the effects and risks of climate change is the main objective of many island nations attending the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

Island nations are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, even though they emit less than 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Their natural resources, which sustain their economies, are deteriorating due to rising sea levels, ocean warming, and increased storm activity.

At COP28, island nations are seeking support for their efforts to adapt to climate change and transform their energy sector. To increase their resilience, they require international assistance, such as climate financing, technology transfers, and green investments in renewable energy.

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