Currently the World Bank lags behind other financial institutions when it comes to integrating climate-related issues into their environmental and social policies. The safeguard policy review the Bank is currently undergoing presents an important opportunity for the Bank to establish a stand-alone safeguard policy on climate change.
This gap in policy has allowed the World Bank to continue financing projects with serious implications for our climate and to essentially ignore the issue completely. According to a recent study by the World Resources Institute, 75% of World Bank projects do not incorporate assessments related to climate change risks into their design, while 88% of the projects do not assess GHG emissions from project activities, relative to a baseline. It is no wonder that with such an approach, the Bank continues to finance projects like the coal-fired Medupi power plant in South Africa, and possibly an even dirtier coal plant in Kosovo.
Dr. Kim himself said last year that, “…the world needs a bold global approach to help avoid the climate catastrophe it faces today.” The signatories of the CAA submission want to see Dr. Kim start to walk the talk on climate by establishing a climate safeguard policy that would ensure the World Bank no longer supports projects that contribute to climate change.
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