For Immediate Release
World Bank Climate Initiatives Come Under Fire
Watchdog groups take aim at new 'Climate Investment Funds;' report exposes World Bank's 256 percent increase in support for coal
WASHINGTON - Two days before the World Bank's annual meetings, a coalition of
watchdog and nonprofit groups exposed World Bank lending for dirty
projects and urged individual nations to refrain from supporting the
World Bank's new "Climate Investment Funds."
The groups released a report today titled "Dirty is the New Clean: A
Critique of the World Bank's Strategic Framework for Development and
Climate Change." The report
argues that the World Bank's track record disqualifies it from managing
clean technology transfer and climate adaptation funds. Instead, the
groups argue, such funds should be established under the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, in order to ensure they are
used equitably and effectively, in accordance with the principle of
common but differentiated responsibility, and that nations receiving
financing are thoroughly involved in funds' design and implementation.
"The World Bank has a very troubling track record on climate change. It
has repeatedly invested in dirty projects and called them 'clean,'"
said Janet Redman of the Institute for Policy Studies and the lead
author of the report. "It is beyond ridiculous for the World Bank to
continue to claim that projects such as the Tata coal plant in
India-expected to be one of the world's top 50 global warming
polluters-are part of the solution to the climate crisis. The World
Bank cannot be trusted to oversee climate change funding."
The groups' analysis shows that World Bank Group lending to coal, oil
and gas in 2008 increased 94 percent from 2007, reaching over $3
billion. Coal lending alone increased an astonishing 256 percent.
The World Bank claimed major increases in fiscal year 2008 in
its renewable energy and energy efficiency lending, but the vast
majority of that comes from environmentally and socially destructive
large hydropower projects and energy efficiency. Lending for "new"
renewables-wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower projects
that produce up to 10 MW per facility-only increased from $421 million
to $476 million from last fiscal year, representing a 13 percent
increase, not the 87 percent that the World Bank claims.
"The World Bank provided political and financial support to
Exxon and the Chadian government for the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline.
Precisely as we warned the World Bank years ago, its support for this
pipeline established a new petrol dictatorship in Africa. The World
Bank is now withdrawing from the project, but who is left to deal with
the monster that it created? Our people are worse off and the local
environment is ravaged. We are outraged by the suggestion that this
same World Bank is now planning to administer climate change funds,"
said Samuel Nguiffo of Friends of the Earth Cameroon.
Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S.
is a party, industrialized countries most responsible for global
warming are obligated to finance clean technology and adaptation to
climate impacts in developing countries.
"Developing countries have clearly articulated at multiple UN
climate negotiations that financing for climate change mitigation and
adaptation should be fully accountable to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change. It is simply wrong for the World Bank-an
undemocratic, unaccountable institution-to have any role in controlling
climate financing," said Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth US.
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Groups including ActionAid USA, Campagna per la Riforma della
Banca Mondiale, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Policy Studies,
Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Jubilee
USA Network, and Oil Change International planned to engage attendees
at this weekend's meeting to urge the World Bank to transform its
approach to climate change.
Photo opportunity: Some of the groups will organize a
demonstration on Friday in which they will be painting oil barrels and
lumps of coal green to symbolize the World Bank's "greenwashing" of
these dirty energy sources. The demonstration is scheduled to take
place at the intersection of 18th and H Streets NW in Washington, D.C.
at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.
For more information, please view these resources:
Two page factsheet on World Bank's "Climate Investment Funds": http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/#770
New "Dirty is the New Clean" report on World Bank's climate framework: www.ips-dc.org/reports-list.php#780
Two-page World Bank and Climate factsheet: http://www.foe.org/Climate_Investment_Funds/WorldBank-ClimateOverview.pdf
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Action Aid USA Campagna per la riforma della Banca mondiale (CRBM) is a Rome-based coalition of 41 Italian development NGOs, environmental associations and human right groups advocating that international financial institutions and Italian investment agencies should promote environmentally and socially sustainable investment in solidarity with local communities affected by projects and investment worldwide.
Friends of the Earth (foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.
The Institute for Policy Studies (www.ips-dc.org ) turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. Since 1963, we have strengthened social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials.
Oil Change International (www.priceofoil.org ) works to break down the political barriers to a clean energy transition.