The World Bank and Climate Change
The World Bank is one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world. Created in 1944, the Bank has now become the world’s largest public “development” agency, influencing the policies of the majority of the world’s developing and emerging economies. In recent years, noting the significant impact that climate change is already having on developing countries and the gap in financing mechanisms available for addressing these impacts, the World Bank has increasingly staked a claim for itself as a key player on the issue – with widespread criticism from developing country governments and civil society around the world.
The World Bank and Climate Change
Déja vu on preferred options for Bank governance reform
Despite internal and external criticism about the superficial nature of governance reforms recently concluded at the IMF (see IU April and June 2008), the World Bank looks set to follow suit at the October Annual meetings with a series of disappointing proposals for increasing the voice of developing and transition countries (DTC) at the Bank.
August 28, 2008
Mr. Robert B. Zoellick, President
World Bank Headquarters
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
Dear Mr. Zoellick,
Re.: World Bank governance
That the world is at an historical crossroads is evidenced by the rise of powerful new global economies, financial crises in the US and Europe, the high prices for commodities most notably food and fuel, and the overwhelming climate change crisis. This reality has been recognized in numerous fora such as the recent Commonwealth Heads of State conference, which agreed that in the context of these global crises it is more important than ever to have ambitious reform of the international financial institutions.
August 21, 2008
Ms. Nicole Bollen
Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits
2, rue André Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16
Fax : c/o 01 44 30 61 58
Email : c/o Xcred.Secretariat@oecd.org
Dear Ms. Bollen,
Thank you for your letter of July 29, inviting ECA-Watch members to participate in an ECG consultation on November 18.
Business and human rights - protect, respect and remedy
Last month, members of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the policy framework identified in April by John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on human rights and transnational corporations. The Council also extended Mr. Ruggie’s mandate for three years.
Innovative financing for development gets boost
As the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organization are set to discuss innovative financing at their bi-annual High-Level meeting at the UN next month, and UN representatives address the issue in their review of Chapter IV of the Monterrey Consensus days later (see IU January 2008), innovative finance has gotten a series of unexpected boosts from various sides.
The face of Global Development Finance is changing. The international financial system has entered into a remarkable period of transition, relative to a few years ago. Numerous countries have repaid their debts to the IMF ahead of schedule, leaving the Fund with a US$103 million shortfall in fiscal year 2007. Many of these same countries have indicated that they will not return to the IMF because of the burdensome conditions that it imposes on debtors.
In its place, new institutions and new sources of finance are emerging. Increasingly, Southern governments are seeking real alternatives to the Bank and Fund: a Bank of the South is emerging in Latin America, an $80 billion Monetary Fund has been created in Asia, and both China and India are providing Africa with condition-free financing that far surpasses current Bank allocations. But these new alternatives are not without their own challenges.
What: The Changing Face of Global Development Finance – Impacts and implications for aid, development, the South and the Bretton Woods Institutions
Who: Organized by the Halifax Initiative Coalition; co-hosted by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, The North-South Institute and the Reality of Aid Network.
When: February 1 - 2, 2008.
Where: Rideau Room, Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, 150 Albert Street (between Metcalfe and O'Connor), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Why: The conference will look at some of the emerging alternatives, as well as the opportunities and challenges they present, with respect to the current international financial system and its institutions.
Conference fees: $40 per day for non-Halifax Initiative members; $35 per day for HI members
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For Immediate Release – November 7, 2007
International Appeal for the Publication of the Final Report of the Ministerial Commission on the Review of Mining Contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo
People’s Tribunal Examines World Bank Influence in India
Over sixty social movements, unions, academics, and local NGOs gathered for four days in New Delhi to examine how decades of World Bank policies and projects have affected the country’s economic and social landscape. Testimony, evidence, and research were heard by a 15 member jury of prominent activists, community leaders, retired justices, and academics in an effort to comprehensively assess the costs and benefits of World Bank assistance.
The Bank of the South: An Alternative to the IFIs?
In early June, the Bank of the South moved a step closer to becoming a reality as the Ministers of Finance of Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia met in Buenos Aires to discuss its founding constitution. In addition to functioning as a development bank and a source of stabilization funds, the Bank is seen as a precursor to a regional monetary system. Just as significant is the Bank of the South’s role as an alternative to the World Bank and IMF, whose policies in Latin America have faced substantial regional criticism. In this respect, the Bank is seen as a valuable mechanism for re-asserting Latin America’s economic independence and political sovereignty.