Wouldn’t you want to mill your own flour?
So today it was my turn in the climate change hot seat here at the World Bank in Washington.
The highlight of my day was being able to approve an exciting new programme called Scaling-up Renewable Energy (SREP).
SREP will focus on scaling up the use of renewables in low income countries. Yesterday I mentioned the kind of programme that SREP might fund - perhaps providing a poor community a sub-Saharan African country with locally produced electricity which they might use to power a small mill, rather than transporting their wheat elsewhere to be processed and then bought back as flour.
The programme is exciting not only for the kind of impact it will have on the ground, but also because it will demonstrate how we can scale up finance to deliver on renewables and access to energy. These lessons could feed into the use of major sources of funding. Indeed, we discussed one of these today - the World Bank's International Development Association budget - which comes in at some $11 billion per year.
The programme isn't ready to be launched just yet. The next step is to pull in the finance from donor countries so that we can reach the minimum threshold of $250m to ensure we can have significant, scaled up impact in the countries that receive SREP funding. The UK has already announced its intention to provide £25m and we've been closely involved in the design of the programme. Now our job is to ensure others follow suit!