Global Finance

Harvesting Harm

Agrofuels seems like a good solution to climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean, because of the investment opportunities. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is now actively pursuing agrofuels as a clean energy and development strategy.  However, recent research shows that agrofuels are not a climate solution, and the additional negative impacts of large-scale agrofuels production on land use, ecosystems, and environmental health are substantial. Further, any potential development benefits to the rural poor are lost when agrofuels are promoted as large scale, monoculture plantations and the fuel is directed for export.

In the News: Our International Climate and Energy Campaigner, Kate Horner, at the IDB meeting in Miami: Environmentalists urge Latam bank to end biofuels loans

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Banks' policies continue to deviate from practices

Mind the Gap: BankTrack rates credit policies of 45 banks

The banking sector is showing progress in developing credit policies that deal with the social, environmental and human rights aspects of their operations, but this progress is slow and unequal, with some banks leading the way and many lagging far behind. Moreover, there continues to be a worrying gap between adopting stringent policies on the one hand and implementing them in day to day investment decisions on the other.

Read More | BankTrack Website and Report


Power Failure

How the World Bank is Failing to Adequately Finance Renewable Energy for Development

CloudsThe World Bank Group has emphasized the global leadership role it hopes to play in addressing climate change and financing for renewable energy. But this report shows that the World Bank group is missing a tremendous opportunity - and failing to fill an urgent need - by not adequately financing renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.

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Gambling With People's Lives

What the World Bank's New "High-Risk/High-Reward" Strategy Means for the Poor and the Environment

In a major new water strategy paper issued in February 2003, the World Bank's management asserted: "To be a more effective partner, the World Bank will re-engage with high-reward/high-risk hydraulic infrastructure, using a more effective business model." In October 2002, the Bank's Board of Directors also endorsed a high-risk approach to the forestry sector; the new Forest Policy allows Bank support for commercial logging operations in rainforests.

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ExIm and OPIC Climate Lawsuit

Friends of the Earth sues financier of global warming

MoneyIn a groundbreaking global warming lawsuit, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and four cities are charging that the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) and the Oversees Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have provided financial assistance to oil and other fossil fuel projects without first evaluating the projects' global warming impacts. The cities of Oakland, Arcata and Santa Monica, Calif. and Boulder, Colo. are parties to the suit.

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Report: Chinese Banks and the Environment

Read the reportFriends of the Earth's new report finds that only two of China's ten most important banks have publicly-disclosed environmental policies -- and those banks' policies fall short of international best practice. The other eight had no publicly-available environmental financing standards. The research gives us direction in bringing Chinese banks up to date with the Western banks they do business with.

Read the report | Read the press release