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Britain calls for reform of World Bank

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  • P. Neuman self only
    ... From: janson2997 To: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 12:41:41 -0000 Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Britain
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 14, 2004
      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: "janson2997" <janson1997@...>
      To: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 12:41:41 -0000
      Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Britain calls for reform of World Bank
      Message-ID: <cfl1a5+3rie@egroups.com>

      Britain calls for reform of World Bank

      Paul Brown, environment correspondent
      Saturday August 14, 2004
      The Guardian

      The British government, one of the leading shareholders in the World
      Bank, has attacked its lending policy that fails to help the poor and
      puts oil and gas projects before renewable energies.
      In a document seen by the Guardian, Hilary Benn, the international
      development secretary, says the bank should pay more attention to its
      mandate of poverty reduction, and insists that proposed reform of its
      management is "critical".

      The paper will be presented to parliament and a copy has already been
      sent to the bank.

      It demands that the bank avoids "fuelling conflict and corruption and
      undermining sustainable development" in developing countries.

      Mr Benn endorses reforms that would have prevented the financing of
      controversial oil pipelines that benefit British and US-based
      multinationals and bring oil to the west but do not help the poorer
      people in the countries they originate in or pass through.

      The government's comments will be a severe embarassment to the bank,
      which has tried to shrug off mounting criticism that it fails to live
      up to its principal mandate of alleviating poverty.

      In 2001 the bank employed Emil Salim, a former environment minister
      for Indonesia, to look at the issue. He recommended an end to further
      investment in the extractive industries of coal, oil and gas, and a
      transition to investing in renewable energy. His report also called
      for the prior informed consent of poor people affected by mining and
      extraction, and for a ban on projects in areas of civil unrest, or of
      high biodiversity, scientific or spiritual value.

      The bank has given no firm commitment to reform, although it has
      agreed to consider changes.

      Mr Benn said the bank should make "a firm commitment to transparency
      of payments and revenues". It should also not lend money to countries
      with "difficult governance" then walk away, but "support countries to
      turn intentions into practice".



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