Dr. Kim of the World Bank Must Walk the Talk on Climate

The World Bank has not yet addressed climate issues systematically. Most notably, its Safeguard Policy framework does not require climate change risk assessments for Bank projects.

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.

The Safeguard Policy Review that the institution is currently undergoing presents an important opportunity for the Bank to adopt best practices for promoting low-carbon and resilient development by establishing a safeguard policy on climate change.

Over 100 Non-Governmental Organizations from 60 countries submitted to the World Bank a proposal for a Policy on Climate Change Assessment (CCA). This Policy proposal outlines some of the main priorities that the Bank should adopt as part of a safeguard policy on climate change, including introducing a ban on financing any coal projects in the future.

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 CCA 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.