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On October 13, at the World Bank’s annual summit in Washington, DC, its president Jim Yong Kim discussed the organization’s shift from helping reduce poverty in general to promoting green policies and fighting climate change. Kim estimated by 2020, more than a quarter of his budget will be linked to climate change.
If that’s the case, the World Bank may be headed for a budget cut. President Donald Trump has joined representatives from Australia, China, Ghana, India, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe in demanding the bank get back to its core mission of helping impoverished countries develop, instead of funding the climate concerns of wealthy western nations.
Halfway through the summit, the Global Warming Policy Foundation issued a report by the World Bank’s former head of research arguing the bank should be closed because it has ceased to serve the poor—the very reason for its existence. The report, “The Anti-Development Bank,” quoted Indian government minister Piyush Goyal saying, “The people of India want a certain way of life. They want jobs for their children, schools and colleges, hospitals with uninterrupted power.” According to the study, Goyal complained about the World Bank’s attempt to push solar power instead of coal for India. “We need a very large amount of baseload power and this can only come from coal. They’re saying to us, ‘we’re sorry but you Indians can only have power for eight hours a day. The rest of the time you must live in darkness.’”
The Zimbabwean reports Nigerian finance minister Kemi Adeosun shared Goyal’s concern.
“We want to build a coal power plant,” the Zimbabwean quotes Adeosun saying. “However, we are being blocked from doing so, because it is not green. This is not fair because they have an entire western industrialisation that was built on coal-fired energy. They suggest that we use solar and wind, which is more expensive.”
Trump may have something to say about the World Bank’s direction. America provides the most funds to the bank, and as the Zimbabweanpoints out, he pulled the United States from both the Paris climate accord and UNESCO. Trump has called for the World Bank to be more accountable, having the costs of projects weighed against concrete benefits and having its board of directors held accountable when cost overruns occur or when projects’ predicted benefits fail to materialize.
SOURCE: The Zimbabwean