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World Bank for creating $50 b ‘green bond’ market

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Jim Yong Kim
Picture credit: Wikipedia Jim Yong Kim

Underlining the need for urgent action to tackle climate change, World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim today called for developing a $50 billion green bond market by 2015.

“A year ago, I said at this meeting that we needed a plan for tackling climate change, a plan fit for the challenge that we face.

“A year later, we’ve seen great leadership on climate from countries and companies, but emissions are still rising and the poor are still suffering,” Kim wrote in a blog for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting here.

He welcomed the UN Secretary General’s call for a leadership summit on climate change in September this year.

The World Bank chief said as a first step, the efforts should be to double the green bond market to “$20 billion by the September summit. The market should be increased to $50 billion by the time of the Paris meeting, to be held in 2015, he added.

Asking the private sector as well as governments leaders at Davos to “act in substantial ways”, Kim said now is the time to act for future generations before it is too late.

“This is the year to take action on climate change. There are no more excuses. If we fail, our children and grandchildren will ask us why we didn’t act when it was still possible to do so,” he added.

The World Bank chief emphasised the need for having leaders who are not thinking about “election cycles”.

“We need leaders who are thinking foremost about taking care of the most vulnerable in this generation and the generations ahead,” Kim said.

Stating that governments should put a price on pollution, the World Bank chief said performance standards for buildings, cars and appliances, among others, should be set.

Putting a price on carbon through either taxes or market-based instruments are the key, he added.

“The so-called long-term investors must recognise their fiduciary responsibility to future pension holders who will be affected by decisions made today.

“Corporate leaders should not wait to act until market signals are right and national investment policies are in place,” he said.

(This article was published on January 25, 2014)
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