World Bank

Technical assistance for implementing Paris goals

This page is part of the E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker Matrix, our tool to help you assess the Paris alignment of public banks, MDBs and DFIs.

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Paris alignmentReasoning
Some progressThe World Bank Group manages the NDC Support Facility Trust Fund, which also supports the NDC Partnership. However, the Bank uses technical assistance to support fossil fuel sectors.
Climate-related technical assistance at policy-levelNDC ambition increase goal?Non-NDC technical assistance
Support for translating NDCs into investment plans and access to NDC Partnership and NDC Support Facility Trust Fund is available.  In addition, the Bank has a technical assistance stream for “climate-smart” investments.Support for more ambitious NDCs is available (on demand from client countries).Technical assistance for fossil fuel subsidy reform is available , but there remains technical assistance for fossil fuels sector development.

Explanation

With its Climate Change Action Plan, the World Bank Group has a framework for addressing climate change which identifies supporting transformational policies and strengthening institutions as its first priority. In this, the Bank has committed to supporting countries with development and sectoral planning and helping to ensure the “climate-smart quality” of all public investments, as well as mainstreaming climate into budgets and fiscal frameworks. The Bank has also committed to working on carbon pricing, as well as fossil fuel subsidy reform.

Nationally determined contributions

The Bank has committed to translating NDCs into policies and investment plans, and supporting – on demand – the design of more ambitious NDCs. As a concrete initiative toward the above, the Bank manages the NDC Support Facility Trust Fund, a multi-donor trust fund created and designed to facilitate the implementation of NDCs. In addition, the Bank houses other trust funds which are also relevant to NDCs such as the Partnership for Market Readiness, Transformative Carbon Asset Facility and Carbon Partnership Facility, among others.

The NDC Support Facility Trust supports the NDC Partnership, an international initiative to support action on the NDCs which is backed by various MDBs and many country participants. In a positive recent development, the Climate Action Enhancement Package is a new offering of the NDC Partnership which places emphasis on enhancing NDC ambition as well as implementation.

As another contribution toward the NDC Partnership, the Bank also promotes technical assistance via the Climate Action Peer Exchange for Ministries of Finance. Launched at COP22, the group is a knowledge exchange platform which brings together finance ministers and their staff alongside other experts. In 2019, the group supported the establishment of the “Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action” in support of six Helsinki Principles; later in the year, an action plan was developed for their operationalisation.

Fossil fuel subsidy reform

With the Systematic Country Diagnostic, the Bank focuses on macro challenges for countries, including climate change and development. This then informs the Country Partnership Framework, which identifies strategic areas where the Bank could provide support and propose possible interventions. Consistent with its objectives under its climate change action plan, the Bank has also provided a range of support to numerous countries on fossil fuel subsidy reform including through the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program work in countries such as Viet Nam and Myanmar. Among the MDBs, the World Bank Group is the only MDB to have signed onto support for the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communique.

Other technical assistance

Despite this, however, the Bank’s work on areas such as fossil fuel subsidy reform is contradicted by technical assistance that supports fossil fuel expansion. In recent years, the Bank has approved numerous policy-based operations relating to oil, gas and coal. Indeed, the World Bank commitment to cease investments in upstream oil and gas does not apply to its technical assistance. In one example in Mozambique, a Mining and Gas Technical Assistance Project (MAGTAP) is intended to expand liquefied natural gas production and support new investments in mining, including coal. These activities may make the local economy vulnerable to stranded assets and transition risks with the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Recommendation: We recommend the World Bank Group ends all technical assistance related to the development of fossil fuels. These resources should be reinvested into Paris aligned technical assistance, such as for clean energy projects.

Last Update: November 2020

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