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World bank: climate profiteer

Publication date:
J. Redman
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This report looks at the World Bank from a critical point of view and aims to expose the organisation as a “climate change profiteer.” Key findings include:

lack of transparency - there is little transparency in the World Bank’s carbon finance activities, making it difficult to verify that projects are cutting emissions above and beyond what would have been achieved in their absence, or to assess impacts on local communities
progress on emissions cuts appears low - the bottom line in all of these carbon trading deals is that there’s no evidence that they actually reduce emissions that cause climate change
dirty industries dominate - the limited data available show that the bulk of the World Bank’s carbon finance portfolio (75% to 85%) has been directed to carbon trades involving the coal, chemical, iron and steel industries, effectively subsidising these polluting, energy-intensive industries
low risks for the World Bank, high risks for developing countries - the World Bank Group is experimenting in the carbon market, without taking significant risks, knowing that projects with little added value can be readily dumped into the voluntary carbon market. Those who take the highest risks if projects fail are the poorest in developing countries.
who is benefitting from the climate investment funds? - latest scheme in the carbon market is the development of three new investment funds which are seen to wrest power back out of the hands of those most affected by climate change and institute a donor-driven governance structure that leaves developing countries without a voice.

The paper concludes that a review of the World Bank’s carbon finance activities clearly shows that poverty alleviation and long-term sustainable development are not high on the Bank’s list of priorities. Little funding has been explicitly directed toward community development or clean energy access in developing countries. It is asserted that many of the Bank’s carbon finance projects threaten the health and livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, while potentially adding to the global carbon burden. The authors argue that the international community should reconsider the Bank’s role in alleviating the burden of the climate crisis on the global South.