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World Bank — Turning Down the Heat



Carbon and the Paris Agreement

In This Episode:

[03:10] Guest Tom Kerr is introduced.

[03:26] Tom explains what the World Bank is.

[05:00] Tom describes the kind of work that the climate change group does.

[07:37] Tom talks about the changes he’s seen since Kim Yong became the World Bank’s president.

[09:27] Tom speaks of his work at the IFC in engaging the private sector.

[12:20] What has the response been to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement?

[14:11] Tom shares his thoughts on if there will be a ripple effect from the U.S. pulling out of the Agreement.

[16:21] Tom talks about whether there is a financial-commitment hole that the U.S. will no longer fill with regard to developing countries.

[18:43] Tom gives his thoughts about the upcoming bond talks and if ambition will be there.

[21:27] Tom provides his sense of where the Trump administration is going to end up with regard to carbon.

[22:39] Host Mike and co-host Michael discuss the Paris Agreement.

[23:48] Mike states what he noticed this week in the news.

[24:31] Michael identifies what he noticed this week in the news.

[25:18] Mike and Michael discuss the economy of renewable energy and the Paris Agreement.

Guest and Organization:

Tom Kerr has worked for 20 years designing and implementing public/private efforts that transform markets for resource-efficient climate business solutions. He currently leads the IFC’s private sector climate policy engagement, which involves working with emerging economy governments and major corporations to develop investor- and climate-friendly national strategies; designing coalitions to advance carbon pricing and performance standards; and providing private sector input into international policy processes such as the G20 and the United Nations climate talks.

Mr. Kerr was previously the director of climate change initiatives at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he worked with international organizations, government leaders, and industry executives to advance practical solutions via platforms such as the G20, the United Nations, and the Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos. While at the Forum, he designed and led the Green Growth Action Alliance, a public-private coalition launched at the 2012 G20 with over 60 leading companies developing solutions to unlock private investment for sustainable growth. From 2006-10, he worked in Paris for the International Energy Agency, leading the development of global reports, including the Technology Roadmap series, the flagship Energy Technology Perspectives publication, and the Clean Energy Progress Report.

Mr. Kerr started his career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, where he designed and launched a suite of innovative voluntary programs such as Energy STAR, Green Power, and methane programs that today continue to engage thousands of businesses to adopt clean, efficient technologies and practices.

Take Away Quotes:

“Where I sit is the IFC – the International Finance Corporation is the private-sector arm of the Bank, so we work in developing countries, lending to private-sector clients and helping them to find profit in development, and in my particular group, trying to find profit in climate business. So we work across the world and emerging markets to really try to tackle poverty—that’s the main mission; then, development—make it smarter; and then, in my case in particular, we try to make profits out of climate business.”

“[Kim Yong, president of the World Bank] wanted to know what the current problem was, and once he found out, he got quite alarmed and made it a top priority for him personally and raised attention externally and also within the World Bank’s priorities. So, we’ve always been doing this, but he put an increased urgency behind it and really tried to push the agenda.”

“The [Paris] Agreement is…190 plus countries making their own national commitments, and so other than the U.S., we haven’t seen any other governments come forward and say, okay, now I’m reconsidering my pledge. And I think that was also another element to this resilience of the Paris Agreement is that it’s not a top-down process where if one big party, like the U.S., pulls out it completely collapses; but, instead, it’s got all these different commitments that are from the bottom up.”

“I think the biggest worry I have is that we do need to now make good on those pledges that were made in Paris and help those countries really go from a pledge to implementation, to see shovels in the ground and money going out the door to these lower-carbon investments.”


World Bank