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Why the World Bank is next

By Sarah Whittington | 17 January 2011

Cancun renewed our faith in the UN process, but it's clear that any decisions that will have a real impact on the lives of poor people are still a long way off.

We need to act now if future generations are to avoid more of the kind of flooding Sri Lanka, Brazil and the Philippines have suffered recently.

That's why today sees us broaden the focus of our climate justice campaign.

With progress towards an international agreement remaining slow, it's our responsibility to turn to other ways that could make a difference to those on the frontline of climate change.

Poor countries aren't only affected most by climate change, they also also need greatest support to develop in a clean and sustainable way.

And an emerging issue of concern in Cancun was the role the World Bank has been given in governing a new green fund for developing countries.

Why 'concern'? Well, despite a stated aim to reduce global poverty, the World Bank has a pretty poor record of protecting people and the environment. 

Especially worrying is its high levels of investment in fossil fuels, which only make the threat of climate change impacts worse in the developing world.

Christian Aid believes that by reviewing and changing its energy strategy the World Bank could play a more positive role in delivering low-carbon energy to those who need it. 

Solar panels on a school in Rampura, Uttar Pradesh -- pic: Vasudha MehtaFor example, the village of Rampura in Uttar Pradesh is plagued by poverty, illiteracy and drought.

Two years ago people living here also had no access to electricity.

But now, thanks to a new solar project managed by the community, a small flour mill has been set up providing employment and education facilities in the village (left) have been improved – a key driver to ending poverty.

More on solar power in Rampura

This project is an example of how poor communities could benefit from energy projects while contributing to a clean energy future

Renewable energy sources are abundant across the developing world. They have a significant potential to help countries meet their growing energy needs in the face of climate change.

We need to let the World Bank know.

Take action

Act now! Email Andrew Mitchell, the development secretary, and urge him to help get the World Bank out of fossil fuels.


Background  More on our World Bank campaign

Clean up the World Bank!

World Bank fossil fuel loans are paying for poverty. Tell them to stop.

Act now!

 About the author

Sarah Whittington

Sarah Whittington manages Christian Aid's climate change campaign