The World Bank's current spending on fossil fuels continues to
dwarf its comparatively miniscule investments in sustainable
renewable energy - a mere USD153 million in 2006 (1). In its
recently published report, "Energy [R]evolution", Greenpeace proves
that with proper investment (2) - equivalent to current fossil fuel
subsidies of around USD 300 billion a year - renewable energy along
with energy efficiency would deliver the 50% reduction of global
emissions by 2050 needed to avert the potentially apocalyptic
scenarios presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change last week (3).
Greenpeace also launched a new report 'Carving up the Congo' (4)
on the logging sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
this week. The report calls for the Bank, the largest funder of the
DRC Government, to urgently act to stop the expansion of the
logging industry in the country, as logging is a key driver of
deforestation, which causes climate change.
Wolfowitz recently stated that climate change needs action and
pledged that the Bank would "climate-proof " its own projects.
Wolfowitz also warned, that climate change will hit the poorest
hardest, stating that "if you are living on the edge, climate
change can push you over" (5).
Daniel Mittler, a Greenpeace International political advisor on
the World Bank comments: "The World Bank talks the talk on climate
change, but continues to fund fossil fuels that bind developing
countries into a climate-damaging future - in effect, the World
Bank is pushing poor people over the edge! If the Bank is serious
about climate change, it must fund an energy revolution based on
the massive expansion of renewable energies. The time for fossil
fuel projects is over."
Greenpeace also stressed the importance of Congo forests in
regulating the global climate. Filip Verbelen, Greenpeace
International's Africa forest campaigner said: "Tropical forests
are a first line of defence against climate change. Yet in the DRC,
millions of hectares of rainforest are being sold off to the
logging industry under the illusion that industrial logging will
alleviate poverty. If the World Bank is serious about tackling
climate change, it must act to contain the logging industry in DRC
and to initiate large scale protection of the country's
Greenpeace asked those Governments supporting the World Bank's
energy portfolio not to provide any further funds until the Bank
agrees to support an energy revolution. "Donor governments such as
Britain and Germany claim to be leaders on climate change. If that
is more than empty rhetoric, they must ensure that the Bank invests
their taxpayers' money wisely - in renewable energies and energy
efficiency, in the energy revolution we need to avoid dangerous
climate change", Mittler concluded.
Other contacts: Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International Political Advisor on climate/energy and international financial institutions, in Washington D.C., +49 171 876 5345 Filip Verbelen, Greenpeace International Africa Forest Campaigner, in Washington D.C., +32 496 161 586 Mhairi Dunlop, Greenpeace International Communications, +44 7801 212 960
Notes: (1) Renewables figures: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTENERGY/Resources/336805-1157034157861/Improving_Lives_Low_Res.pdf, page 39 and Annex 2. Investments by the Bank (IBRD/IFC/IDA) in sustainable renewable energy was $ 153,1 million in 2006, which is just more than half of what the Bank invested in the peak year of 1994 ($ 270 million). In 2006, the World Bank also invested US$1,066m in extractive industry projects, including fossil fuels, see http://www.bicusa.org/proxy/Document.10072.aspx . (2) A table setting out the funding needs for renewables has been published on the occasion of the World Bank spring meeting, here: http://www.energyblueprint.info/447.0.html (3) http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM6avr07.pdf (4) See: http://www.greenpeace.org/congoreport (5) Wolfowitz interview with Reuters, March 13, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L13136537.htm
Exp. contact date: 2007-04-23 00:00:00