He added that in the 2018 fiscal year, running from July 2017 to June this year, the World Bank had committed $20.5 billion to climate action, compared with an annual average of $13.5 billion for the 2014-2018 period.
Roome said the money now being earmarked amounted to “about 35 percent” of the World Bank Group’s total financing.
Much of the climate action financing is being set aside for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, notably through development of renewable energy strategies.
However, the World Bank stated that “a key priority is boosting support for climate adaptation,” given the millions of people already battling the consequences of extreme weather.
“By ramping up direct adaptation finance to reach around $50 billion over (fiscal) 21-25, the World Bank will, for the first time, give this equal emphasis alongside investments that reduce emissions,” the bank stated.
Given the urgency to act in the face of sea level rise, flooding and drought “we must fight the causes, but also adapt to the consequences that are often most dramatic for the world’s poorest people,” said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.
By stepping up financial aid to developing countries worst affected, Georgieva said the bank was committed to adapting infrastructure while investing in “climate smart agriculture, sustainable water management and responsive social safety nets” as well as early response networks.
“Even if we can keep global warming down to 2 degrees Celsius we know you’re gonna need a significant amount of adaptation in places like Chad, Mozambique or Bangladesh,” said Roome.
The countries whose representatives are meeting at the UN climate summit which opened Sunday in the Polish city of Katowice are seeking to make good on commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
That agreement saw countries commit to limiting global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to the safer cap of 1.5C if at all possible.