World Bank President Ajay Banga unveiled ambitious initiatives at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, signaling a resolute shift toward climate-related projects and extended debt repayment pauses in the aftermath of climate-induced disasters.
In a pivotal move, Ajay Banga announced an elevated target for the development lender, aiming to allocate 45 percent of its annual financing to climate-related projects by 2025, a significant surge from the previous target of 35 percent. This amplified commitment amounts to more than $40 billion annually, emphasizing a proactive stance in addressing climate change and global crises.
Under this new strategy, resources will be equally distributed for climate mitigation and adaptation across the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), catering to both mainstream and vulnerable economies.
Banga further emphasized an expanded scope for Climate Resilient Debt Clauses within World Bank loans, extending coverage to encompass all existing loans in the most vulnerable nations. These clauses, designed to suspend repayments in the aftermath of climate-related calamities such as cyclones or floods, will now encompass not just principal repayments but also debt interest payments. This extension aims to alleviate financial strains on affected countries, enabling them to prioritize vital aspects like food, water, and power restoration in the aftermath of disasters.
Banga’s announcements underscore the World Bank’s heightened commitment to climate action and disaster recovery, aligning its mission with the urgent global need for sustainable and resilient responses to the challenges posed by climate change.