World Bank

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The atrium of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. It has funded a number of climate-related partnerships and programs.

ESMAP, cosponsored by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, is a global technical assistance program that provides policy advice on sustainable development issues to the governments of developing countries and economies in transition. ESMAP also contributes to technology and knowledge transfer in energy sector management and, since its creation in 1983, has operated in 100 different countries through some 450 different activities. Recently, a new window in ESMAP has opened to support the goals of the Clean Energy Investment Framework.

The ASTAE program, established in 1992, aims at mainstreaming renewable energy and energy efficiency in the World Bank's lending operations in the power sector in Asia. The World Bank is cooperating actively with the GFDRR, which aims at integrating hazard risk reduction strategies in development processes at local and national levels. The potential exacerbation of extreme climatic events as climate changes suggests significant overlap between the areas of adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The VARG is an informal network of multi- and bilateral development institutions that aim to facilitate the integration of adaptation to climate change in the development process. The World Bank is one of 19 organizations that are partnering in this open-knowledge network.

The GGFR partnership, a World Bank-led initiative, facilitates and supports national efforts to use currently flared gas by promoting effective regulatory frameworks and tackling the constraints on gas utilization, such as insufficient infrastructure and poor access to local and international energy markets, particularly in developing countries. Launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002, GGFR brings around the table representatives of governments of oil-producing countries, state-owned companies, and major international oil companies, so that together they can overcome the barriers to reducing gas flaring by sharing global best practices and implementing country-specific programs.


Another World Bank initiative is the Sustainable Development Network, a part of which includes a Climate Change Team within the Environment Department of the Bank. The Climate Change Team provides resources and expertise for the World Bank's participation in international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC and provides technical advice to the World Bank's GEF Program on the preparation of GEF climate change mitigation projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy and on the development of strategic initiatives with the GEF. The team also is leading the Bank's efforts related to climate change vulnerability and adaptation issues for its client countries.

The Bank recognizes that achieving objectives related to climate change is a long-term process requiring the integration of the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and the vulnerability and adaptation agendas into mainstream operational work. These instruments include planning, policy dialogue, generation and dissemination of knowledge, and investment lending, all of which are primarily aimed at promoting national development priorities. Bank support to clients for better managing climate change occurs in three key areas: mitigation of GHG emissions, reduction of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and capacity building. In the area of GHG mitigation, the bank promotes policy and regulations, as these tend to have large and sustainable effects on improving the efficiency of resource use and, consequently, reduction of GHG emissions. In the context of these reforms, the Bank mobilizes resources from the GEF and the Prototype Carbon Fund to support GHG abatement measures that simultaneously address poverty reduction and sustainable development goals.

In areas of vulnerability and adaptation, where the decision on UNFCCC support is pending, the Bank will mobilize donor financing for a Vulnerability and Adaptation Facility to better prepare for climate change. Over the medium term, the Bank will focus on improving the understanding of the potential effects of climate change and on identifying and implementing no-regrets measures to reduce vulnerability to current climate and to climate change. Finally, the Bank will assist clients in building the capacity needed to deal with GHG abatement and with vulnerability and adaptation.

As part of its work in climate change, the World Bank has developed a variety of resource and training materials addressing the fundamental issues underlying climate change, examples of successful mainstreaming of climate change concerns into project work or underlying analysis, and basic tools for accurately identifying the climate change effects of projects, baselines, and alternatives. The climate risk screening toolkit is referred to as ADAPT (Assessment and Design for Adaptation to Climate Change), which is a prototype tool that will screen proposed development projects for potential risks posed by climate change and variability. The Bank has also developed a variety of tools and examples to help its staff and clients more readily address the methodological, technical, and economic issues underlying the incorporation of GHG issues in project development and economic analysis. In the area of renewable energy, the Renewable Energy Toolkit comprises a range of tools to help Bank staff and country counterparts improve the design and implementation of renewable energy projects. It aims at pro viding practical implementation needs at each stage of the project cycle and also helps project staff determine sustainable business models, financing mechanisms, and regulatory approaches.

sEE ALso: Climate Change, Effects.

BIBLioGRAPHY. World Bank, An Adaptation Mosaic: A Sample of the Emerging World Bank Work in Climate Change Adaptation (Parts 1 and 2) (World Bank, 2004); World Bank, Come Hell or High Water—Integrating Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation into Bank Work (World Bank, 1999); World Bank, Contributions from the National Strategy Studies Program to COP6 Negotiations Regarding CDM and JI (World Bank, 2001); World Bank, Look Before You Leap: A Risk Management Approach for Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation in World Bank Operations (World Bank, 2004); World Bank, Making Sustainable Commitments: Environment Strategy for the World Bank (Annex F—Climate Change) (World Bank, 2001); World Bank, Poverty and Climate Change: Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor through Adaptation (Report, Parts 1 and 2) (World Bank, 2003); World Bank, Sustainable Development and Global Environment—The Experience of the World Bank Group-Global Environment Facility Program (World Bank, October 2002).

Michael J. Simsik U.S. Peace Corps

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