In Brief

World Bank signals 'fundamental' climate change shift

More than a quarter of investment will now go directly to help developing world fight global warming

World Bank

The World Bank has signalled a "fundamental shift" in its funding policy which will see tens of billions of dollars channelled into projects to fight climate change.

Officials announced that in future, 28 per cent of all World Bank's investment would go into projects that, for example, aim to rapidly increase renewable energy capacity across the developing world. This will amount to at least $16bn (£11bn) a year by the end of the decade, notes The Guardian, with up to a further $13bn (£9bn) being "leveraged" from the private sector.

In addition, the organisation said that all of its future spending decisions would take account of the impact on the environment, a response in part to criticism that it has funded fossil fuel-based energy projects.

"This is a fundamental shift for the World Bank. We are putting climate change into our DNA," said John Roome, a senior director for climate change.

Along with its fellow development banks which are part of the World Bank Group, the funding body was made the "lynchpin" of a pledge agreed in Paris in December to provide $100bn (£71) of funding to poor countries to help them adapt to a low-carbon world.

At that summit, 195 world leaders vowed action to keep global temperature rises below the two-degree level that scientists frequently cite as a tipping point for catastrophic climate change. In two weeks, the leaders will convene in New York to formally sign that agreement.

"Following the Paris climate agreement, we must now take bold action to protect our planet for future generations," said Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank Group.

"We are moving urgently to help countries make major transitions to increase sources of renewable energy, decrease high-carbon energy sources, develop green transport systems and build sustainable, liveable cities for growing urban populations. Developing countries want our help to implement their national climate plans, and we’ll do all we can to help them."

The new strategy will including funding construction of enough renewable energy to power 150 million homes in developing countries and building early warning systems for climate disasters for 100 million people, says the Guardian.

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