Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale released a report 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.
Friends of the Earth US, along with 132 other groups, issued a declaration opposing the World Bank's proposal for Climate Investment Funds. The statement comes during UN Climate Convention talks in Bonn and on the eve of a US Congressional Hearing on the Clean Technology Fund. Friends of the Earth President Blackwelder will testify Thursday, June 5 at a Hearing in Congress on the US Administration's proposal to establish and multilateral clean technology fund. The groups' statement urges developed country governments not to support the World Bank initiative and calls on developing country governments to raise these concerns with donor countries, the World Bank and other institutions.
The World Bank, the world's largest multilateral lender for fossil fuel projects, plans to reinvent itself as the world's leader on climate and development. It has proposed at least two new "Climate Investment Funds" to help "developing countries to address urgent climate change challenges." But a closer look at these funds reveals that the Bank would continue to fund greenhouse gas emissions, while re-branding its business as usual as "transformational, low-carbon" technologies.
The Third World Network’s analysis discusses how the World Bank’s proposed climate investment funds are donor-driven and undermine ongoing negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Bank is seen as attempting to reinvent its image as a greener lender, while diverting funds away from institutions that are actively working to reduce climate change.
Oil fuels global warming. It is contradictory to fight climate change and fund Big Oil at the same time. More than one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions come from oil and gas, and overcoming our dependence on oil is a critical component in avoiding dangerous climate change.
Aiding Oil, Harming the Climate
Joining with 23 other organizations, Friends of the Earth signed a letter to the World Bank and heads of government delegations at UN climate change negotiations held in Thailand in April 2008. The letter raises serious concerns about the World Bank's proposed climate funds and calls on the Bank to withdraw or suspend its proposal for the funds' creation. Developing countries under the Group of 77 and China strongly criticized the Bank's initiative during the Bangkok meetings.
In April 2008, the World 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. On April 4, Friends of the Earth joined 8 other organizations asking the U.S. Executive Director to the World Bank to commit to supporting renewable energy, not dirty coal.
Given the World Bank's proposed climate investment funds, a peak into the Bank's history is essential. Oil Change International found that in 2006 alone, the Bank "increased its energy sector commitments from $2.8 billion to $4.4 billion. Oil, gas and power sector commitments account for 77 per cent of the total energy sector program while 'new renewables' account for only 5 per cent." Oil Aid is the practice of using public funds to subsidize private sectors—and the World Bank has been one of the biggest lenders to dirty energy.