No World Bank Funding for Climate Change and Poverty
13.12.2007: At the IDA replenishment meeting in Berlin, a broad coalition of environmental and development NGOs protests the harmful policy on energy and economic conditionalities of the World Bank.
The action 2
On December 13th and 14th, 2007, delegates from 40 World Bank donor countries are meeting in Berlin to negotiate their contributions to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). The meeting will complete a year of negotiations over the volume and conditions of donations. IDA will over the next three years pay out about US$10 million per year in interest-free loans and grants to the world’s 81 poorest nations.
In an open letter to the German government, the NGO alliance urges the donor governments to release the designated funds only if the World Bank makes drastic and clear changes to its energy policy and economic policy demands. As Ulrike Bickel, human rights officer at Misereor, underscores: "The German government must use its influence as IDA’s fourth largest contributor to accomplish these changes.”
Non-governmental groups are staging a creative protest outside Berlin’s Gedaechtniskirche under the heading "World Bank Policy: Death Sentence for Energy Reform”. "While heads of state struggle over a new agreement to combat climate change in Bali, the World Bank is financing a growing number of projects that harm the environment. With these projects, the World Bank obstructs a reform toward renewable energy and energy efficiency,” says Daniela Setton, expert on the World Bank at German NGO WEED.
"The World Bank must stop its investments into fossil fuel projects and start a turn-around in its energy financing policy,” demands Knud Voecking, programme officer at German environment group urgewald.
The NGOs also oppose economic policy demands that the World Bank usually ties to its loans. "These conditionalities undermine democracy in our countries. Every party that stands for election must, if it is elected, implement the economic policies agreed to with the World Bank, even if this is contrary to its own policy,” says Father David Ugolor of Nigerian transparency group "Publish What You Pay".
There is strong criticism also for World Bank debt cancellation policy. "IDA subtracts cancelled debt from new contributions and then goes back and collects the cancelled sums from donors", charges German development group EED’s Peter Lanzet.
For more information, please contact:
Knud Vöcking, urgewald, tel.: +49 (0)171 - 2832408
Daniela Setton, WEED, tel.: +49 (0)179 - 7102094
Peter Lanzet, EED, tel.: +49 (0)170 - 81 31 191
A press release and action by:
Forum Environment and Development *** Greenpeace *** Protestant Development Service (eed) *** Misereor *** urgewald *** World Economy, Ecology & Development (WEED) *** FoodFirst Information & Action Network (FIAN) *** Independent Institute for Environmental Questions (UfU) *** International Rivers *** Jubilee Germany (erlassjahr.de) *** attac *** European World Bank