Turkmenistan to export electricity to Pakistan

New report highlights five steps to confront climate change

Nov 09, 2010 - Energy Central

The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released a new report Thursday after reviewing the Bank's efforts in mitigating climate change, stressing five measures that offer attractive local benefits while fighting climate change: energy efficiency; forest protection; appropriate project finance; technology transfer; and accelerated learning.

The report, named The Challenge of Low Carbon Development, notes that carbon finance has yet to realize its promise of catalyzing large scale new investments in renewable energy.

The report recommends that the World Bank Group rebalance its efforts toward higher-impact sectors and instruments, with relatively greater emphasis on energy efficiency, such as lighting and improvements in electricity transmission and distribution. The report also emphasizes the need for the Bank to actively assist clients to move away from coal, using energy-system-wide analysis to find cleaner, more cost-effective and financeable alternatives. It urges the Bank Group to take a venture capital approach in the public as well as private sectors, incubating a portfolio of promising investments and rapidly scaling up the successful ones.

"Floods in Pakistan and West Africa, and heat waves in Russia, bring home the severe threats that climate change poses to development," said Vinod Thomas, director-general of IEG in a statement. "To meet the urgent challenges of financing development, adapting to climate change, and promoting greener growth in a recession-battered world, it is crucial that efforts focus sharply on areas of greatest effectiveness."

During fiscal years 2003-08 the World Bank Group scaled up annual investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency from 200 million to 2 billion U.S. dollars, with sizeable further increases since then. In 2008 it adopted a policy framework on development and climate change, subsequently mobilizing an additional 5 billion dollars in concessional funds for greenhouse gas reduction.

"For higher impact, the World Bank Group and the world at large need to learn faster what works and what doesn't and focus on results, not just dollars committed. Most projects reviewed lack periodic, reliable reporting on impacts, leading to lost opportunities for learning," said Kenneth Chomitz, report author and Senior Advisor at IEG.

The Independent Evaluation Group is an independent unit within the World Bank. It reports directly to the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors.



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