Center for American Progress

Support Low-Carbon Economic Growth in the Developing World
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Support Low-Carbon Economic Growth in the Developing World

If the World Bank wishes to keep managing some part of the emerging global climate funds, it must support the ambition of developing countries to adopt low-carbon development plans.

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If the World Bank wishes to remain in the running to manage some part of the emerging global climate funds, it must adopt policies that clearly support the ambition of developing countries to adopt low-carbon development plans. The U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen ended with a near consensus on the Copenhagen Accord, which requires signatory parties to articulate low-carbon development plans consistent with a global target of holding anthropogenic temperature increase to no more than 2° C over pre-industrial levels by 2050 by 2020. More than 90 nations have now submitted plans to meet this goal.

The accord also includes provisions for $30 billion in quick-start funding by 2012 and an ambition of raising $100 billion per year by 2020 for adaptation assistance and financing for developing countries to transition to a low-carbon economy. If the World Bank is to play any part in the administration or development of these and other financing mechanisms, then it must commit itself to the broad values at the heart of this agreement and the specific pathways stipulated by parties to meet these goals.

In addition, the bank must actively resist countervailing internal policies that would undermine achievement of these goals, such as continued subsidies for carbon-heavy fuel sources. Such directions in bank policy should be guided not only by the agreements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the current home of the world’s principle climate negotiations, but also by relevant decisions by the Group of 20 leading developed and developing nations, whose leaders agreed last September to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels by 2050.

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