WBG/IMF Annual Meetings Address Climate Change, SDGs
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The 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which met from 9-11 October 2015 in Lima, Peru, were the first to be held in Latin America since 1967.

The meetings consisted of plenary sessions, panel discussions and seminars, which addressed, inter alia, inequality, the economic slowdown, renewable energy, climate change, and the Bank's twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity.

They brought together government ministers, development experts, CEOs and celebrities.

wbg.imf11 October 2015: The 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which met from 9-11 October 2015 in Lima, Peru, were the first to be held in Latin America since 1967. The meetings consisted of plenary sessions, panel discussions and seminars, which addressed, inter alia, inequality, the economic slowdown, renewable energy, climate change, and the Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity. They brought together government ministers, development experts, CEOs and celebrities.

In a statement to the WBG and IMF Boards of Governors, WBG President Jim Yong Kim noted that, for the first time ever, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty (less than US$1.90 per day) will likely fall under 10% in 2015. In order to end extreme poverty, he reiterated the need for inclusive economic growth, investment in human beings and insurance against the risk that people could fall back into poverty, noting every dollar of public spending should be scrutinized for impact. He called on countries to invest in women, root out corruption and promote transparency.

In remarks to the Development Committee meeting on 10 December 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the World Bank’s role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with respect to economic empowerment, sustainable agriculture and infrastructure, the fight against hunger, climate change, resilience building, and the promotion of effective governance and the rule of law. He urged the World Bank to encourage other multilateral and regional financial institutions and development banks to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their work programmes.

In the first address ever made by a UN General Assembly (UNGA) President to the Development Committee, Mogens Lykketoft called for urgent action at all levels to maintain the current momentum of the SDGs, through, inter alia: maximizing the impacts of the new Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the Global Infrastructure Forum; and effective and accountable multi-stakeholder alliances that bring together the public and private sectors and civil society.

He also called for affordable and effective financial resources and services that promote financial inclusion, including through: more transparent and robust tax systems; establishing frameworks and policies, with a view to aligning investments to achieving the SDGs; getting the private sector and financial institutions to support low-carbon and climate-resilient investments; and leveraging innovative sources of financing, including remittances and carbon pricing.

Lykketoft also underscored that progress on the SDGs requires action on the global humanitarian and refugee crisis, noting he will convene a UNGA meeting in November 2015 to make concrete progress on this crisis. He also indicated that he will: launch a process on 1 January 2016 to further clarify the SDG follow-up and review framework; and hold a high-level event on 1 April to bring coherence and build momentum towards implementing SDG, climate and finance commitments.

A Development Committee communiqué, released following the meeting, inter alia: calls for focusing on inclusive growth, jobs, infrastructure, human development and health systems; emphasizes private sector development for achieving the SDGs; urges the WBG and the IMF to help countries stem illicit finance and underlying activities, including tax evasion, corruption, criminal activities and collusion; urges the WBG to scale up technical and financial support and mobilize resources to help countries assess climate risks and opportunities, address climate change drivers and build resilience; urges the WBG to take demographic challenges into account in its work to support development policies; and stresses the importance of strengthening data quality and coverage for monitoring and implementing the SDGs, and building national data capacity in developing countries. The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for 16 April 2016, in Washington, DC, US.

During a climate finance meeting, hosted by the Governments of Peru and France, which convened on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings, WBG President Kim underlined that if world leaders do not find a path to low-carbon growth that keeps global temperature rise below 2°C, little hope exists for ending extreme poverty or for preserving the Earth for future generations. He called financing climate action a “collective challenge,” and announced the WBG pledge to increase climate-related financing by as much as a third, or up to US$29 billion annually by 2020. He said politically credible pathways do exist to deliver US$100 billion a year in climate financing for developing countries by 2020.

UN Secretary-General Ban underscored the importance of financial resources for achieving the SDGs, and for creating a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. He said the first step must be a “politically credible” trajectory for mobilizing US$100 billion dollars per annum by 2020, and urged developing a methodology for determining what climate finance is, and how private finance is counted. He urged developed countries to mobilize new climate finance resources beyond their official development assistance (ODA).

Ban also commended Germany, France and the UK for recent pledges to double their public climate finance commitments, noting such pledges are essential for strengthening equity, global solidarity and trust. He further called for innovative financing mechanisms that provide debt relief and new resources to strengthen the resilience of small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). He urged governments to design policies that encourage the private sector to forgo short-term thinking and invest in low-carbon, resilient growth, and noted the growing consensus on the need to price carbon and phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

During another event, hosted by the WBG and UN-Habitat, on ‘What Makes a Sustainable City?,’ participants discussed intensifying partnerships for transformative sustainable urban development towards the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Habitat III and the SDGs. The WBG and UN-Habitat called on national governments, local authorities and stakeholders to be involved in moving toward a ‘New Urban Agenda’ that prioritizes ending poverty, sharing prosperity and achieving environmental sustainability. The event reaffirmed that: sustainable urbanization is good for climate change mitigation and adaptation; sustainable development depends on sustainable urban development; and effective public-private partnerships are critical to unleashing the transformational role of sustainable urbanization. Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice underscored that low-carbon and resilient urban development offers an opportunity for climate change action.

The Boards of Governors of the IMF and the WBG meet annually to discuss the work of their respective institutions. The meetings are usually held in Washington, DC, US, for two consecutive years and in another member country in the third year. [2015 Annual Meetings Website] [Statement of WBG President to Boards of Governors] [WBG Press Release on Climate Financing Increase] [World Bank Press Release on Climate Finance] [World Bank Story on Climate Action] [WBG Press Release on Sustainable Cities Event] [Development Committee Communiqué] [Statement of the President of the UN General Assembly] [Press Conference with WBG President] [UN Press Release on Participation of UN Secretary-General in Annual Meetings] [UN Press Release on Climate Finance Meeting] [Remarks of the UN Secretary General to the Development Committee Meeting]


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