There is a growing momentum behind calls for the World Bank to reform to make it ‘fit for purpose in the 21st century’. This excerpt from an editorial in the New York Times entitled “Humanity is facing a great injustice. The World Bank must respond” says it all….
It’s one of the great injustices of this era that countries contributing negligible amounts to global carbon emissions are now feeling the most harrowing impacts of climate change. Pakistan, which makes up less than 1 percent of the world’s carbon footprint, had a third of its territory under water in last year’s floods. Parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are experiencing the worst drought in 70 years of record-keeping, threatening millions with famine, even though the entire continent of Africa contributes less than 4 percent of global carbon emissions. Small island developing countries such as Papua New Guinea account for less than 1 percent of global carbon emissions, yet they stand to lose the most when sea levels rise.
The World Bank and the donor countries that control it can do more to step up and tackle this generational challenge. To make the World Bank and other multilateral lending institutions fit for purpose in the 21st century, leaders need to figure out how to raise and leverage the massive amounts of capital that are going to be necessary in the coming years to help countries adapt to and mitigate a changing climate.