World Bank Confident of Funding to Back Climate

Philippines—The World Bank’s special envoy on climate change on Friday
expressed confidence that industrialized countries will open their wallets when
they gather in Paris later this year to bankroll a global strategy to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
“There will be a finance package and it will be a generous one,” World Bank Vice
President Rachel Kyte told The Wall Street Journal at the sidelines of the
meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ministers in this central
Philippine island.
Ms. Kyte said talks on the financing package are continuing but she declined to
quote the potential size of the financing package.
Multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank, already provide
annually a combined $28 billion for projects intended to help developing
countries mitigate the impact of and adapt to climate change, she noted.
French President Franç ois Hollande last month anchored a final deal on climate
change during the November-December gathering in Paris on the willingness of
richer economies’ to shell out the promised $100 billion needed annually by
2020 to fund renewable-energy projects in poorer nations.
Ms. Kyte said political leaders must understand that for every $1 spent on
projects intended to mitigate the impact of climate, an estimated $4 are saved
in relief efforts after a disaster strikes.
“The science is very clear. The economics are clear as well. It is really a
political decision now,” said Ms. Kyte, who is in Mactan to help muster support
for the an plan on building economic resiliency amid natural disasters and
financial shocks.
She said the impact of a natural disaster in one country could be disruptive to
the global economy as in the case of the 2011 flooding in Thailand, which hurt
the global supply chain. And finance ministers have already noticed its
importance and have taken the debate on climate change into their gatherings
agenda.
Climate change “might be the biggest systemic risk the global economy faces,”
said Ms Kyte. She noted that in the U.S. two years ago, insured losses due to
extreme weather events reached $250 billion—roughly the size of the Philippine
economy.