LONDON (UK) / WASHINGTON DC (US) November 1, 2005 — The World Bank is failing to play an effective leadership role on climate change and renewable energy, a new report from Friends of the Earth US

Press Release
Friends of the Earth International

New report available for preview or download at

The report is launched today (1st November 2005) as G8 countries meet in London for a high-level dialogue on climate change and clean energy.
‘Power Failure: How the World Bank is Failing to Adequately Finance Renewable Energy for Development’, questions the central role that the World Bank claims it wants to play by financing renewable energy globally.
The report finds that the World Bank, despite being tapped by the G8 countries to develop a framework for financing renewable energy sources, fell far short of its own target for increasing financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Bank increased funding by only 7%, or $14 million, in fiscal year 2005 – less than half its announced target of a 20% increase annually over the next five years.
“Renewable energy projects provide a tremendous opportunity to curb climate change, while also promoting development and addressing poverty. But the World Bank’s portrayal of itself as a key leader on renewable energy globally is seriously misleading,” said David Waskow, International Program Director of Friends of the Earth US in Washington. “The London meeting should not be another opportunity for governments and the World Bank just to talk. We need serious outcomes in real negotiations, not just more hot air.”
The renewable and efficiency financing by the World Bank for fiscal year 2005 represents only 9% of all the Bank’s financing in the energy sector. Meanwhile, the Bank continues to finance fossil fuel pipelines and is making a move back into destructive large dams for energy generation in developing countries.
“The Bank will have to make immediate and aggressive changes to dramatically increase its renewable energy and energy efficiency lending if it hopes to have any impact on climate change before it is too late for developing countries,” said one of the authors of the report, Elizabeth Bast, of Friends of the Earth US.
Renewable energy like wind power, small hydropower, and solar power, combined with aggressive energy efficiency strategies, can dramatically cut emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change. Renewable energy also helps to alleviate poverty, and can provide electricity to those without access.
“The dialogue that will begin in London on November 1 could play a crucial role in building confidence in the run up to official UN climate talks in Montreal, where some strong outcomes are needed. But this dialogue is not an alternative negotiating track and cannot replace official meetings, real commitments and the urgent need for genuine action to tackle climate change,” said Catherine Pearce, Climate Change Campaign Coordinator of Friends of the Earth International in London.

For more information contact
In Washington DC (US):
David Waskow, Friends of the Earth +1 202-222-0716 or email
Elizabeth Bast, Friends of the Earth US +1 202-222-0719 or email
In London (UK):
Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International +44 (0)20 7566 1723 or email:

Announced at the G8 Summit in July 2005, the Nov.1 London gathering is the first meeting of the Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development. Twenty countries, including all G8 countries will gather in London on 1 November to discuss issues to promoting clean energy. The UK as G8 President will chair. The Dialogue is due to report back during the G8 summit hosted by Japan in 2008.