As countries struggle with COVID-19, they are also being hit by worsening climate impacts. Already, 2020 looks set to be the hottest year on record, potentially bringing more droughts, floods, and intense storms. All countries – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable – could face the compound impacts of climate change and COVID. Recently, India and Bangladesh were hit by the Category 5 Hurricane Amphan, forcing authorities to handle the competing goals of evacuation and social distancing to keep communities safe.
The World Bank Group is committed to supporting developing countries as they respond to the challenges of a changing climate. For the third year in a row, Bank Group lending for climate-related investments exceeded the target of 28%, reaching 29% or $21.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2020. Total World Bank Group climate finance amounted to more than $83 billion over the five years that the Climate Change Action Plan (2016-2020) was in effect.
During the 2020 fiscal year, the Bank Group identified opportunities for low-carbon, climate-resilient development, and provided supporting advisory services, technical expertise and financial resources. The Group expanded its efforts beyond sectors more traditionally identified with climate action – such as climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy – to new frontiers. This includes first-of-its kind innovation in the circular economy, targeted digital development interventions to improve climate resilience, macro-fiscal interventions strengthening regional trade and development with climate-relevant investments, and embedding climate considerations within COVID economic recovery packages.