Today we want to talk about two important topics: money and climate protection. The world needs more of both. The good news is that we don’t have to rob a bank, we have to initiate a reform of the World Bank.
The Basics: What is the World Bank?
Who or what exactly is the World Bank? A bank that lends to governments for development projects. Often on more favorable terms than on the financial market. The World Bank was founded in 1945. The name says it all – almost all countries worldwide are members of the World Bank Group. Also Germany.
So far, the way the World Bank lends money is not particularly good. Much of the money available to the bank for loans is not used due to bureaucratic obstacles. On average, it takes over a year for a loan to be approved. Many countries often cannot wait that long. In addition, the bank is very risk averse, holding back a lot of money for a perceived X day when it could potentially need it more urgently.
We would argue that day X has already arrived. The bank should use all available means to combat major global crises – above all the climate crisis.
In addition, the bank has financed projects in the past that may have been able to reduce poverty in the short term, but in the long term did not serve to protect the climate, and in some cases even undermined it. As the climate crisis plunges more and more people into poverty, the cat is literally biting its own tail here. In short: the way the World Bank works is not up to date.
The Chance: What is currently changing at the World Bank?
Something is currently happening in the dusty World Bank. Three interesting things have happened in the last few months:
1) Some influential countries – including Germany – have put a concrete proposal on the table, how the granting of credit can be improved and made more up-to-date. If the proposal is implemented, significantly more money would be available to fight poverty and the climate crisis.
2) World Bank President Malpasse – who unfortunately was best known for being a Trump-near climate change denier – has announced his resignation.
3) Lo and behold, just last month the World Bank gave its employees new rules on how to ensure that lending is based on the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate protection and the 1.5 degree target.
Although these developments are not yet enough to cause a storm of enthusiasm, they at least make us sit up and take notice. We will therefore deal more intensively with the topic in the coming months and put pressure on those responsible in politics.
What you can do
You are very welcome to support us. With our actions, we address both the new World Bank President Banja and the political decision-makers in Germany who play a key role in steering the World Bank: Development Minister Schulze, Finance Minister Lindner and Federal Chancellor Scholz. Take the first step today and sign our petition to the new World Bank President. If you want to learn more about our demands for World Bank reform, I recommend you our 10-point plan for the first hundred days of the new World Bank President.
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