The World Bank’s new Climate Investment Funds will do nothing to help the climate; they’ll just give the bank more clout.
President Bush and other leaders of the industrialized world managed to produce a masterfully vague, loophole-ridden statement on climate change at a Group of 8 summit held at a secluded resort on the banks of Lake Toyako in Japan this week.
Meanwhile, thousands of delegates from grassroots movements transformed tranquil Odori Park in downtown Sapporo into the central nervous system of a bottom-up response to ecologically destructive development policies. On the opening day of the G8 summit, activists from every continent joined Japanese environmental and global justice groups in the streets brandishing banners, flags and megaphones. Their message was unambiguous: “Climate Justice, Yes! World Bank, No!”
Their boiled-down slogans were in response to a communiqué released on the second day of the official summit that endorsed the World Bank’s newly created Climate Investment Funds. The $6 billion pledged by the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan to these funds will do nothing to help the climate. Instead, they will give the World Bank an even larger — and completely inappropriate — leadership role on climate change.