Finance CEOs Face Difficult Decisions Regarding Climate Change Commitments.
One word kept cropping up in speeches and communiqués from top finance officials at the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings this week: climate.
With an eye on next month’s COP26 climate change summit, leaders of institutions and government ministers vowed action to accomplish global climate objectives of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
At a World Bank event on Thursday, Britain’s Prince Charles stated, “I’m afraid it’s time to roll up our sleeves and define our plan of action.”
“With climate change, biodiversity loss, and a just transition becoming more essential than ever, I can only urge us all to get to work and tackle this challenge.”
Behind the rhetoric, however, is the stark reality of the amount of work that remains to be done in order to accomplish the goals, as well as the animosity surrounding the problem.
Even as activists fired a volley at World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Washington pressed on multilateral lenders around the world to increase funding for climate-friendly initiatives.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest asset manager has issued a warning that costly expenditures are required to avoid disaster.
On Wednesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote in The New York Times, “Rich countries must put more government money to work in accelerating the net-zero transformation elsewhere.”
To achieve the net-zero emissions objective, $1 trillion in annual investments focused at poor countries will be required, with Fink estimating that $100 billion in annual subsidies will be required.
“While the sum appears daunting, especially as the world recovers from the Covid epidemic,” he said, “failing to spend now will result in higher expenses afterwards.”
The semi-virtual sessions in Washington come amid mounting concern about the effects of unchecked climate change on the planet.
Reduced agricultural productivity, water scarcity, rising sea levels, and other negative effects of climate change, according to the World Bank, might force up to 216 million people to leave their homes and relocate inside their own countries by 2050.
According to an IMF research, direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies totaled $5.9 trillion in 2020, or roughly 6.8% of world GDP, undermining climate goals by keeping gas affordable.
While executives from the two Washington-based international lenders claimed to be laser-focused on climate change, not everyone believed them.
77 advocacy groups demanded that World Bank President David Malpass stand down on Thursday.
The World Bank’s climate investment and, according to Malpass, The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.