Letter: CSOs call on World Bank to consult on Climate Change Action Plan

24.05.2021

CSOs from around the world have written to the World Bank Executive Directors, asking them to push the bank to open up consultations on its Climate Change Action Plan for 2021-25.

The CSOs, coordinated by Bretton Woods Project, note:

“While not a policy per se, given the high profile afforded the forthcoming CCAP during the recent virtual World Bank Spring Meetings, where it was heralded by WBG President David Malpass in a string of public events and statements as an important new flagship strategy of the Bank – with the President noting in a statement on the CCAP that, “Our collective responses to climate change, poverty and inequality are defining choices of our age” – it is difficult to accept that the CCAP doesn’t fit the criteria of a ‘policy development process.’

Given the already severe impacts of climate change, and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, civil society organisations have also noted the potential importance of the CCAP, including in an open letter sent in March, in which they called on the Bank to adopt a whole-of-institution commitment to end all types of support for fossil fuels, and support member countries’ just transition efforts.”

The communication of a ‘comment period’ for the CCAP falls far short of bank consultation requirements. The letter notes:

  • There was no notification period prior to the announcement of the comment period, and the comment window is not listed on the World Bank consultations page;
  • There is no indication that a consultation plan was discussed and approved by the World Bank’s executive board prior to the comment period being announced, as per the Bank’s recommended good practice;
  • There is no explanation of how comments received by the Bank will be used.

Most importantly, in a highly unusual step, the Bank has offered civil society the opportunity to comment on a slide deck (i.e. PowerPoint presentation) of the CCAP, rather than a draft version of the CCAP.

We call on the World Bank’s executive directors to ensure that the World Bank follows its own guidance on consultation processes going forward, to avoid the appearance of such comment periods constituting ‘box ticking’ exercises that have little bearing on policy development processes. 

As an immediate first step, we call on the Bank’s executive directors to ensure a proper public consultation on a full draft of the CCAP.”