Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs) are a new analytic tool the World Bank is using to demonstrate the compatibility between climate action and development and to present countries with recommendations on adaptation and decarbonization pathways that support economic growth. BIC has reviewed four CCDRs: Türkiye, Vietnam, Nepal, and the Sahel G5, along with the Bank’s report on the first set of CCDRs: Climate and Development: An Agenda for Action- Emerging Insights from the World Bank Group 2021-2022 Country Climate and Development Reports. We have found that while CCDRs mostly meet their intended goal, they neglect the Bank’s own role as well as structural and institutional barriers that countries face in trying to follow these pathways.
- The Bank is inadequately articulating its own role. CCDRs are rooted in the Bank’s experiences from in-country operations and are expected to influence other Bank findings, such as Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs), Country Partnership Frameworks (CPFs), and various activities in client countries. Yet, from a document review it is not clear whether CCDRs support or align with SCDs, CPFs, the CCAP, World Bank Country Forest Notes, and the Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.
- Insufficient sector-specific analysis. We found that in cases where the Bank has previously engaged in research the analysis is not sufficient. For instance, the Bank has prepared a Country Forest Note for Vietnam, but the forestry section in Vietnam’s CCDR fails to incorporate or build on the analysis done in the Vietnam Country Forest Note. This is a missed opportunity because Vietnam’s forestry sector has the potential to increase resilience and support mitigation.
- Lack of nature-based solutions. We found that CCDRs fail to prioritize nature-based solutions and instead favor technological solutions, as in Türkiye’s CCDR. There are many known adaptation and mitigation benefits associated with nature-based solutions, which the Bank itself has reported on. Therefore, we expected to see more support for nature-based solutions, rather than technological solutions that carry a lot of uncertainty.
- Mobilizing finance. The CCDRs fail to describe how the Bank will help countries meet their financing needs. Instead, they focus on how the borrowing country government can mobilize financing from the private and public sector in their country.
- The challenge of overcoming key barriers. CCDRs do not sufficiently address how countries can overcome structural and institutional barriers. They fail to offer concrete solutions to challenges regarding countries with weak institutional capacities. In doing so, they are overlooking a lack of governance and the ability of Borrowers to afford the adoption of cleaner technologies.
- Connect CCDRs with relevant and existing Bank research. CCDRs should explain how the climate and development pathways are aligned and will be integrated with the World Bank’s existing climate and environmental plans and programs.
- Create incentives for increasing contributions to global climate finance. This should be done in a way that does not lock client countries into unsustainable debt. The CCDRs and Climate and Development: An Agenda for Action highlight the importance of international concessional climate finance, and at COP27, the World Bank, along with other multilateral development banks, released a joint statement, prioritizing the need for an increase in concessional finance.
- Demonstrate Paris Alignment. The CCDRs should incorporate climate and development pathways and recommendations that collectively are aligned with the Paris climate agreement and do not project continued or increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Bank should also offer the most realistic low carbon development path for each country to reach net zero.
- Provide more specific examples of nature-based solutions. The CCDRs should address more thoroughly the opportunities for these solutions, given their many complementary mitigation/ adaptation benefits and that the Multilateral Development Banks Joint Statement calls for an increase in their use.
- Help countries transition their development to meet goals of sustainability even if that means allocating more resources. The CCDRs acknowledge that many of the countries must rebalance/ refocus their development in order to prioritize developing resilience in key sectors. The World Bank should advise and assist countries with this transition, including by increasing its share of adaptation finance in low-income countries.
- Engage stakeholders. The Climate and Development: An Agenda for Action report acknowledges the role of behavior and engagement around climate action. In line with this, the World Bank should engage stakeholders more on CCDRs to make sure the recommendations are tailored to the specific country and that they are feasible. To succeed, this process must also be open and transparent.
- Include marginalized groups with more detail and attention. The CCDRs should provide precise recommendations on social inclusion, particularly in the land management sector, where there are issues around rights to land and water, which affects Indigenous Peoples, women, persons with disabilities, and children.