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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 18_nov_world_bank


18 november 2000

memo to world bank: friends of the earth international are demanding that the world bank phase out support for fossil fuel and mining projects which are damaging efforts to make progress at cop6

Today FoEI Chairman Ricardo Navarro is calling for the World Bank to declare a moratorium on all such investments.

World Bank representatives are in the Hague, promoting their rototype carbon fund (PCF) and trying to present an image of the Bank as acting on climate change. The PCF totals only about $180 million, compared to the billions the Bank spends every year on fossil fuel projects. FoEI will be releasing a summary of its position paper at COP6 calling for this phase out of fossil fuel and mining projects. Business As Usual funds for fossil fuels are not needed. What is needed at COP6 is new and additional funds from developed to developing countries for environmentally sustainable technology transfer.

New studies indicate that any efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism will be dwarfed by International Financial Institution investments in fossil fuels that lock developed and developing countries into long term fossil fuel dependence. A copy of this report will be made available as well by the Institute for Policy Studies.

FoEI Chairman Ricardo Navarro has recently written to the World Bank President James Wolfensohn, after a September meeting in Prague where Mr. Navarro handed Mr. Wolfensohn a position paper calling for World Bank phase out of support for fossil fuel and mining projects, and increased investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency that meets the World Bank mission of overty alleviation. Mr. Wolfensohn responded: "We can stand back and take a look at the actualities of these extractive industries, the pros, the cons, the pluses, the minuses, and see if together we can come up with something that will either lead to an exclusion or to an inclusion on certain terms of what we are doing."

World Bank projects like oil extraction and coal mining are often devastating to biodiversity, local communities and indigenous peoples and do not meet the Bank stated mission of poverty alleviation. These investments will result in billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere unaccounted for under the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Commenting, FoEI Chairman Ricardo Navarro said:

"While Governments work round the clock at the Hague to agree on greenhouse gas reductions, the World Bank is busy promoting dangerous climate change. This hurts the impoverished the most. Mr. Wolfensohn must meet his Prague pledge and a good first step is an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel and mining projects."

For further infomation please contact:

Ian Willmore 0044 7887 641344 (FoEI)

World Bank Expert: Jon Sohn 06 15 570 940 (FoE US)




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