Published: Sunday 15 March 2009

In April 2008, a study by the US-based Institute for Policy Studies, described the World Bank's role in the carbon market as 'dangerously counterproductive' to international efforts to tackle climate change. "The Bank is culpable in the climate crisis. It is then turning around and claiming to solve it," charged the report titled World Bank Climate Profiteer.

In http// the Bank is back to hectoring. The site is full of platitudes on the urgency of the climate problem. There is a neat piece on the benefits of recycling, a nifty photo gallery on Kiribati--the Pacific Ocean Islands that are almost under the sea--and there are climate experts holding forth.The site also has links to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it details the Bank's efforts in mitigating climate change, and also has links on sites that deal with the effects of climate change on children.

To someone uninitiated into the Bank's ways, all this might seem laudable. The site also has a few sentences on giving a break to your car. But there is virtually nothing on the fossil fuel economy which the Bank generously funds. In fact, the World Bank Group's lending to develop coal, oil and natural gas resources rose to more than US $3 billion in 2008, a 94 per cent increase over 2007. The Institute for Policy Studies claims that the group's lending for renewables--wind, solar and small-scale hydropower projects--increased a mere 13 per cent during the same period.

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