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Report Says World Bank Continues to Make Climate Change Even Worse

Washington, October 9 (teleSUR-RHC)-- The World Bank spends 1.5 times as much on funding fossil fuel projects as it does on renewable energy projects, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank based in Washington, DC.

In recent years, the lending agency has acknowledged the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “decarbonize development.” Its actions, however, have not always matched its rhetoric. Indeed, according to the report, “a sober review of its lending practices reveals the Bank is undermining the cause it purports to champion.”

In fact, “funding for fossil fuel projects grew from US$2.4 billion to US$9.3 billion – an almost four-fold increase from 2010-2014,” according to the report.

The World Bank has vowed to stop funding for coal projects in particular, except in the poorest countries where it claims there are no other viable options. Still, researchers pointed out that it is funding a massive new plant in Kosovo where that is not the case.

“If the World Bank is serious about supporting the transition to low-carbon, sustainable development, it should immediately end coal financing, quickly phase out oil investment, and devote more resources to renewable energy development,” said the report.

The multilateral lending institution is currently undertaking a major overhaul of its social and environmental criteria for investment, with environmental activists urging it to be an example for others and do more to promote renewable energy. Current proposed changes, activists say, are too vague, offering neither insight on how projects will be evaluated for climate impacts or assessed once completed.  

The proposed changes, which will be discussed Oct. 9 during the World Bank’s annual meeting in Lima, Peru, have come under heavy scrutiny for its faulty system of measuring the social and environmental impacts of development projects.
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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