Despite the woeful inadequacy of funding made available by the North for developing countries to meet climate challenges, donor-
controlled climate funds have proliferated in recent years. Among the institutions that have staked a claim in the business of climate finance is the World Bank, which unveiled its Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) in 2008. At over $8 billion, the World Bank’s CIFs and carbon funds are collectively the largest climate-related funds currently managed by any public multilateral institution, dwarfing all of the funds under the UNFCCC.
As important as the question of the adequacy of climate funds is the question of who handles them, how they are governed, and how they are delivered to those who need them most. With the amount of resources they have given it, rich country governments clearly prefer the World Bank to manage public funds for climate action in the developing world. Given its institutional structure that is highly skewed in favor of its wealthiest contributors, and history of pursuing environmentally and socially harmful development in the South, we ask whether the World Bank is the appropriate institution to handle these funds. Should the World Bank play any role at all in climate finance?
Program area: Environment and Climate Justice
Date of publication: December 2009
No. of pages: 13