World Bank Controlling Global Warming Spending?

Longtime environmental activists know that the World Bank's investments have regularly gone toward projects that damage the environment, emit major amounts of greenhouse gas pollution, and negatively impact communities and human rights in the Global South. Now it wants to be the arbiter of huge pots of money intended to tackle global warming. 

Not on our watch!

Friends of the Earth has documented how the World Bank promotes extractive industries and fossil fuels, shortchanges the poor while placing their ecosystems at great risk, focuses almost exclusively on corporate aims through its private investment arm, and has coordinated with the world's richest nations to invest upwards of $3 billion in new greenhouse gas producing projects.

Despite this record of downgrading environmental concerns in the interests of corporate development, the World Bank is now proposing to manage what it calls climate investment funds, possibly controlling billions of dollars intended to curb global warming (potentially including U.S. tax dollars).

Friends of the Earth believes that the World Bank should not be in control of this money.  Help stop the World Bank from setting up these climate investment funds.

The World Bank rarely feels pressure from within the United States and is genuinely concerned about its reputation here - especially within Congress. We have set up an action that allows you to register your complaints through the World Bank's official comment form and copy your members of Congress, alerting them to your concerns.  The comment deadline is this Wednesday, May 7.

Help keep the World Bank's plans from going forward by clicking here.

Oil and gas industries currently receive $1 billion per year, and growing, from the World Bank. In 2006, oil, gas, and power commitments accounted for 77 percent of the World Bank's total energy program (only about 6 percent went to "new renewables," like wind and solar, despite past promises). In April 2008, the Bank approved a $450 million loan for a massive 4,000 megawatt coal project in India, expected to be one of the 50 largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world.

The stated purpose of the World Bank's proposed Clean Technology Fund is to "provide scaled up financing to assist developing countries in transitioning to low-carbon economies." But neither "clean" nor "transformational" nor "low-carbon" is defined. Building somewhat more efficient coal-fired plants would seem to qualify as "clean technology."

Not surprisingly, the World Bank's proposed climate investment funds have been heavily criticized by civil society and developing country governments for marginalizing their voices and bypassing international climate negotiations. In many cases, recipient poor countries would have to pay the money back, further indebting those most at risk from global warming to those most responsible for it.

Like so many World Bank initiatives, its climate investment funds are a fool's gamble. Help shut them down before they start wasting the money earmarked for our planet's survival.

Karen Orenstein
Extractive Industries Campaign Coordinator
Friends of the Earth

Take action here: