Withhold World Bank funding, MPs urge

MPs want the government to take a stand against coal
MPs want the government to take a stand against coal

By politics.co.uk staff

The UK should withhold funding from the World Bank unless it improves its environmental credentials, an influential committee of MPs said today.

The conclusion is likely to raise the stakes in global efforts to tie developing countries' aid to improvements in green industries.

"The World Bank should not assume continued support from the UK unless it changes its ways," said Joan Walley, chair of the environmental audit committee.


"[The Department for International Development] needs to get tough and use its position as a major shareholder to vote-down dirty coal powered energy projects and ensure that the World Bank's portfolio isn't making climate change worse."

MPs concluded that the current scale of the World Bank's lending to fossil fuel powered energy generation was "unacceptable" and that the UK should prepare to vote against new World Bank funding for high emissions coal-fired power stations.

The committee requested a clear strategy from the government department on its approach to environmental issues to ensure they are given priority in its expenditure.

The move mirrors that taking place among lobby groups. Green groups and development charities have recently begun to work more closely as analysts stress the closely-knit causal relationship between the two agendas.

"Every effort must be made to help emerging economies leap-frog fossil fuels and fuel their growth with clean energy instead; otherwise we run the risk of international aid efforts being squandered as climate change kicks in," Ms Walley said. 

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