World Bank fails to judge climate effects of projects
The World Bank must do a better job of addressing the environmental impacts of its development projects around the world, an internal review of the global lending institution found on Tuesday.
While the World Bank has made sustainable development a key priority over the past decade and helped many countries form their own environmentally-sound plans, it has paid "insufficient attention" to whether programmes it funds have actually matched those intentions, said the Independent Evaluation Group, the bank's internal watchdog, the dpa reported.
The bank "lacks an aggregate monitoring and reporting system ... that would allow it to more systematically assess the environmental aspects and results of the projects it supports," the IEO said, repeating some of the conclusions it made in a 2002 report on the topic.
The report recommended climate concerns become a "central pillar" of the World Bank's projects as it works to bring countries out of poverty.
The World Bank has only recently begun taking on a more direct role in combatting global warming, earlier this month launching two multi-billion-dollar global funds to help poor countries adapt to climate change and boost investment in renewable technologies.
Environmental groups, which have criticized the bank for its support of past polluting projects, including coal-fired power plants in Asia, welcomed the report's findings and urged the bank to take note.
"The world needs an institution that not only talks about sustainability, but also creates the internal incentives to ensure that its own activities are environmentally sustainable," said Korinna Horta, a senior economist with the Environmental Defense Fund.