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|| Lighting the way? Assessing the World Bank’s Climate Action Plan and Energy Access
|| Bank Information Center Europe, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and the Big Shift Global
|| Heike Mainhardt
| Published in:
|| October 2018
|| As part of its mission to end poverty, the World Bank has committed to help countries achieve the objectives of both the SDG7 and the Paris Climate Agreement, including limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2°C and helping member countries meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.
So far, progress on both fronts has been too slow and if it does not increase swiftly, we will not achieve either goal. Despite increased energy access rates in recent years, progress has been considerably uneven, leaving the majority of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa still in the dark (only 43 percent have access). In addition, even if we meet current NDC targets, global warming is still likely to exceed 3?C to 4?C in the 21st century.
Recent assessments of the World Bank’s efforts to address the dual objectives by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and the Bank Information Center-Europe found that the Bank was not adequately prioritizing energy access or renewable energy, especially low-GHG energy solutions for rural communities. To begin, the World Bank does not have any consequential targets for energy access or distributive renewable energy, which addresses both rural access and climate change. The SSNC report argues that the lack of meaningful targets for rural electrification partially explains why in the last three years the rate of electrification did not improve for the poorest 40 percent of the population in countries with World Bank operations.
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