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Groups to World Bank: Clean Means Clean


June 04, 2008

For Immediate Release

Contact:
In the US: Kenny Bruno, Oil Change International (718) 637-4301
Janet Redman: Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (508) 340-0464
In Bonn: Karen Orenstein: Friends of the Earth (202) 222-0717

Groups to World Bank: Clean Means Clean
Over 100 Civil Society Groups Oppose Bank's "Less Dirty" Technology Fund

Washington, D.C. and Bonn, Germany, June 4th, 2008 – Today, 121 groups are issuing a declaration (1) opposing the World Bank's proposal for Climate Investment Funds. The statement comes out during UN Climate Convention talks in Bonn and on the eve of a US Congressional Hearing on the Clean Technology Fund (2).

"The Clean Technology Fund has no definition of clean technology," said Kenny Bruno, International Program Director for Oil Change International, one of the signatory groups. "What they are really proposing is a 'slightly less dirty' technology fund, which will include financing of coal plants that are somewhat less polluting than the dirtiest plants out there."

"The World Bank is spectacularly unqualified to manage climate funds due to their long-term practice of financing carbon emissions from oil and gas," said Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth US. "Moreover, the Bank's play to control climate funding could undermine the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is the proper place for these funds."

Blackwelder will testify tomorrow at a Hearing in Congress on the US Administration's proposal to establish and multilateral clean technology fund.

A second Fund planned by the World Bank, called the Strategic Climate Fund, would include loans for developing country adaptation to climate change. "The Bank's plans are unfair and unethical," said Janet Redman of the Washington-based Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. "The loans would further indebt poor countries as they adapt to climate changes caused mainly by the countries providing the loans."

The Statement concludes by urging 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.

(1) The Civil Society Statement is online at http://www.endoilaid.org/wbcif

(2) The Hearing will be held Thursday June 5 at 1:30 PM in Washington, D.C. at the Rayburn House Office Building and hosted by the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology (DIMP). It will be webcast at http://financialservices.house.gov/hearings.html

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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 been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.