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World Bank Outlook 2050 Strategic Directions Note

The World Bank Outlook 2050: Strategic Directions Note   has been released and proposes a whole-of-economy approach to reaching decarbonization by mid-century . The report focus on various actions to be taken across sectors such as food systems, energy, transport, water systems and low-carbon cities.

By planning ahead, these strategies can boost new economic activity and innovations, creating the jobs of the future, while also securing a safer climate especially for the poorest and most vulnerable”said Mari Pangestu, the World Bank’s Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships.


The World Bank Outlook 2050 Strategic Directions Note examines how the World Bank can help countries plan for and achieve long-term decarbonization: through country programs, technical assistance, lending, and knowledge products. Supporting countries in a transition to long-term decarbonization requires to not only look 3–5 years ahead, but look decades ahead, and then work to determine the near- and mid-term implications. It also proposes four pillars that can drive a ‘whole of economy’ approach to reaching decarbonization by mid-century, namely, macroeconomic frameworks, national budgets, financial sector regulations and incentives, and systems planning.

These strategies can also help countries with the economic recovery from COVID-19, optimizing the use of public resources, as well as mobilizing private finance, and securing a safer climate in the longer term.

The report lays out a series of recommendations to advance long term decarbonization in 8 areas that require cross-sectoral solutions, namely:

  • Food systems, recognizing that food production and supply systems need to scale up dramatically in the coming decades, but that they are also a major source of emissions and highly vulnerable to climate change;
  • Land-based ecosystems and carbon sinks, including forests, which are crucial to sustaining human life, but are growing sources of emissions due to land-use change and land degradation;
  • Energy systems, with a focus on decarbonizing and decentralizing the power sector, ensuring a plentiful supply of low-carbon electricity to meet growing demand, enhancing resource efficiency of energy production and use and aligning energy sector investments with climate goals;
  • Mobility, by reducing unnecessary travel through better land use planning and other strategies; shifting the modes by which people travel, including away from private vehicle use; and reducing emissions from all transport modes through technological innovation;
  • Low-carbon, resilient urban areas that increase livability, recognizing that by 2050, more than two-thirds of the global population will live in cities, which are major sources of emissions and highly vulnerable to climate impacts;
  • Water systems, which are already under growing pressure from climate change, play a central role in many sectors, and are a growing source of emissions;
  • The ocean economy, recognizing that the oceans directly support millions of livelihoods, provide vital ecosystems services, and absorb a large share of global emissions; and finally,
  • Digital transformation, including the potential for new technologies to help reduce emissions across all sectors and boost resilience, as well as to reduce the sectors own growing emissions.

The report was launched as part of the Kickstarting the Sustainable Recovery series organized by the World Bank’s Climate Change Group in partnership with Innovate4Climate to shed light on how sustainable finance can be part of the COVID-19 recovery and help countries build back better and stronger.


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