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No additionality, new conditionality: a critique of the World Bank’s proposed climate investment funds

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C. Tan
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The World Bank is planning to establish a portfolio of climate investment funds (CIFs) to provide financing for climate-related activities. The stated objective of the funds is to provide concessional finance for policy reforms and investments that achieve development goals through a transition to a low carbon development path and climate resilient economy. This short briefing paper examines the modalities for the proposed climate investment funds and considers the impact these funds will have on existing global measures to tackle the causes and effects of climate change.It is argued, that these funds are the latest efforts on the part of the Bank to capitalise on current global concerns with climate change. In particular, the paper considers how the Bank’s role in climate change financing may create parallel frameworks of climate change governance, which may undermine existing multilateral climate change regimes. The paper considers briefly some of the alternatives to Bank-driven instruments for climate change financing. The author concludes that the solution to the problem of climate financing for developing countries must rest with a genuinely multilateral framework for mobilisation and disbursement of financial resources, which reflects the needs and priorities of the countries in receipt of such financing and which is in line with internationally agreed principles on climate change.