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IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings Address World Economic Crisis, Support Efforts to Tackle Climate Change

69imfc_am_08_large 13 October 2008: The annual meetings of the Boards of

Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank took place on

11-13 October 2008, in Washington DC, US. Finance ministers from developing and

industrialized nations attended the event, which was preceded by a meeting of

the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development

Committee. The IMFC and seminars during the week addressed the responses to the

current economic crisis, as well as the challenges posed by higher food and

fuel prices.

In the Development Committee's communiqué, finance ministers

caution that, due to the current financial crisis, developing and transition

countries “risk very serious setbacks to their efforts to improve the lives of

their populations from any prolonged tightening of credit or sustained global

slowdown.” The communiqué further supports the World Bank's stronger role in

helping countries deal with the causes and effects of climate change, as well

as the recent launch of the new Climate Investment Funds, including a Clean

Technology Fund and a Strategic Climate Fund. In particular, ministers

re-emphasize the primacy of the UNFCCC negotiation process, and “taking account

of the Bali Action Plan,” encourage the World Bank to support climate actions

in country-led development processes in a holistic manner, and to “customize

support to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, as well as

capacity building needs, in its member countries.”

Regarding funds to address

climate change, they encourage the World Bank to “strengthen its resource

mobilization efforts, including facilitating access to additional concessional

financing, ensuring complementarity with other financing mechanisms (notably

the Global Environment Facility and the Adaptation Fund), supporting the

development of market-based financing mechanisms, leveraging private sector

resources, and seizing opportunities for innovation.” Ministers also encourage

the World Bank to increase its focus on mobilizing resources for adaptation and

play an active role in supporting the development and deployment of clean and

climate resilient technologies, and facilitating relevant R&D and

technology transfer. [IMF-World

Bank Annual Meetings 2008 website]