The fact is $100 billion a year is woefully insufficient to cover the cost of climate change adaptation, let alone financing clean energy transitions across the developing world. The adaptation price tag alone could reach $300 billion a year by 2030. According to the IEA, the cost of financing clean energy transitions could exceed $1 trillion a year by the end of the decade. These are big numbers. But they are achievable.
CGD Policy Blogs
In the 117th Congress, US lawmakers have introduced four separate proposals to establish a national development bank. Three would set up national green finance institutions; the fourth would focus more broadly on providing public financing for high-tech domestic manufacturing, including green technology. (A version of the National Climate Bank proposal—or “Clean Energy Accelerator”—could soon come to the House floor as part of the Democratic budget reconciliation measure).
To help developing countries meet their financing needs, the multilateral development bank (MDB) system needs to get much bigger. Key to a bigger MDB system is a more financially efficient one.
The Biden administration and the Congress rightly went big in the recently passed American Rescue Plan at a time of tremendous need. The package was appropriately focused on the domestic side, but it did not neglect the rest of the world. One might reasonably ask then why $1 billion or $2 billion could not have been included for fighting the poverty, food insecurity, and health crises driven by the pandemic. That would have amounted 0.05 to 0.1 percent of the total package. And it would have been multiplied many times over in additional poverty reduction dollars, because that it was the MDB model does.
In retrospect, the scale up in MDB financing during the 2008-2010 crisis, though significant, now looks conservative as we consider the potential scale of damage from the current COVID-19 pandemic. To put the question bluntly, if the human and economic devastation follows a worst-case scenario, just how much could the MDBs do to respond? We attempt to answer that question by assessing the legal, rather than prudential, constraints on MDB lending.
The new US International Development Finance Corporation has opened its doors! And with that, CGD is launching the “DFI Dashboard”—an interactive tool for comparing the lending practices and policy frameworks of DFC and eight other development finance institutions.
Why isn’t the African Development Bank Group bigger? Clemence Landers and Nancy Lee have a proposal to reform the bank and increase its size and impact.