Climate change poses an enormous challenge to development. By 2050, the world will have to feed 9 billion people, extend housing and services to 2 billion new urban residents, and provide universal access to affordable energy, and do so while bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that make a sustainable future possible. At the same time, floods, droughts, sea-level rise, threats to water and food security and the frequency of natural disasters will intensify, threatening to push 100 million more people into poverty in the next 15 years alone.
Countries are now moving with increasing urgency to develop more sustainable energy and transport systems, strengthen the resilience of their cities, and prepare people, public services and infrastructure for climate shocks to come. More than 180 countries submitted pledges on climate action – the Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs – in the run-up to the historic Paris Agreement at COP21 in December 2015. To help countries meet this challenge, the World Bank Group today adopted a new Climate Change Action Plan, which lays out concrete actions to help countries deliver on their NDCs and sets ambitious targets for 2020 in high-impact areas, including clean energy, green transport, climate-smart agriculture, and urban resilience, as well as in mobilizing the private sector to expand climate investments in developing countries.