World Bank Group President: This Is the Year of Climate Action

In corporate boardrooms and the offices of CEOs, climate change is a real and present danger. It threatens to disrupt the water supplies and supply chains of companies as diverse as Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil. Rising sea levels and more intense storms put their infrastructure at risk, and the costs will only get worse.

CEOs know this. They also know there is opportunity in how they respond. But while there are stand-out leaders, many others are holding back until they have more certainty about what governments will do.

This week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called on government leaders to break out of the small steps of business as usual and provide that structure. First, by putting a price on carbon and by having financial regulators require companies and financial institutions to assess their exposure to climate-related risks and disclose it.

Kim also called for doubling the market for green bonds, which support climate adaptation and mitigation projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction, to $20 billion this year and $50 billion by the time a new international climate agreement is reached in Paris in 2015. He urged institutional investors to commit to green bonds targets in their portfolios.

“We have seen great climate leadership from countries and companies, but emissions are still rising, the poor are suffering,” President Kim said. “This is the year to take action on climate change. There are no excuses.”


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