Transformative Analysis

We conduct transformative analysis that gives important context and spurs action

Ending World Bank Coal Lending

Timely, data-rich and politically astute analysis by Climate Advisers contributed to the successful effort to end most World Bank financing of coal-fired power plants.

The World Bank has helped reduce global energy poverty, but often with a big carbon footprint. Climate Advisers calculated that shifting World Bank energy lending from coal to renewables and energy efficiency would reduce emissions by 250 million tons of carbon per year through 2030 – and inspire other investors to take similar action with even larger climate dividends.

In 2011, climate advocates tried unsuccessfully to convince the World Bank to stop financing coal projects. Developing nations refused so long as developed nations continued to build new coal plants themselves and progress seemed unlikely.

Climate Advisers then conducted an original analysis to change the conversation and show that financing coal plants in middle income countries isn’t just bad for the climate – it’s also bad development policy. In a paper published with the Brookings Institution, we demonstrated after a careful review of thousands of financial transactions that coal plants in developing nations do not require international subsidies – most are highly profitable and can be financed locally at low interest rates.

The Climate Advisers analysis not only emboldened climate champions to push harder, but also helped depoliticize international negotiations by shifting the terms of the debate. In July 2013, the World Bank announced it would cut off almost all funding for new coal plants in middle-income countries around the world.

Mapping Forests and Making the Potential for Action Real

Too often, the impact and potential of major global climate policy is hard to see, accessible only to insiders and technical experts. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

In 2009, Climate Advisers created the Forest Carbon Index (FCI) – the first simple-to-use, interactive, data-rich tool that clearly showed the potential of each country and community to reduce deforestation.

Designed to be used by policy makers, the private sectors and academia, the FCI mapped hard data about biological, economic, investment and market-readiness conditions in every corner of the world.

The FCI helped tens of thousands of policy makers, investors, companies, NGOs and researchers grapple with the challenges and implications of integrating forests into climate policy. In the United States, the FCI was used by the State Department and the Congressional Research Service to illustrate the geographic scope of REDD+ in reports to Congress.