Is the World Bank Sacrificing Economic Growth and Higher Living Standards on the Altar of Radical Environmentalism? 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Jan 2011 19:00:00 GMT

The World Bank’s mission is to alleviate poverty and encourage economic growth by providing low-cost loans for worthy development projects. But the Bank has come under fire recently from some developing country critics for placing environmental policy concerns ahead of poverty reduction goals. For example, according to one critic writing recently in the New York Times, “the bank’s loans for plantation agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions – some $132 million of which have gone to palm oil cultivation – have been humanitarian and economic triumphs. Yet now, under misguided pressure from environmental groups, the Bank is turning its back on the program.” Furthermore, questions have been raised over the World Bank’s recent tendency to give greater weight to input from environmentalist NGOs than from private businesses or even sovereign nat! ions.

Join us for a larger policy discussion about the World Bank’s mission and its environmental objectives. Panelists will discuss how effective World Bank aid policies have been in alleviating poverty when they are linked to environmental or other social policies. What should the Bank’s role be in the 21st century? And how should the Congress of the United States, the Bank’s biggest funder, shape the Bank’s priorities?

Hosted by James Roberts, Research Fellow for Economic Freedom and Growth

  • Ron Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason Magazine
  • Nick Schulz, Editor-in-Chief,, and Author of From Poverty to Prosperity Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities and the Lasting Triumph over Scarcity
  • Richard Tren, Director, Africa Fighting Malaria, and Co-Author of The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History

Heritage Foundation
Lehrman Auditorium
214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC

Climate Change and the World Bank – Help or Hindrance?

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 09 Oct 2008 14:00:00 GMT

With the launch of the Climate Investment Funds, the World Bank has positioned itself as a major player in international climate funding and policy. Speakers on this panel will discuss the World Bank’s past, current, and potential future role in climate change, including examinations of the Bank from Southern country perspectives. The implications of the World Bank’s role for both U.S. climate policy and the financing mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will also be discussed.

Speakers may include:
  • Elena Gerebizza, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (Italy)
  • Lidy Nacpil, Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (Philippines)
  • Chima Williams, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth-Nigeria
  • Vice Yu, Global Governance for Development Programme, South Centre

Moderator: Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth-US

Sponsored by ActionAid USA, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, Friends of the Earth International, Jubilee USA, Oil Change International, and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.

Location: Friends of the Earth-US, 1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC

For more information, please contact Karen Orenstein, International Finance Campaign Coordinator, Friends of the Earth US,, 202-222-0717.