The World Bank’s Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change, a three-year ‘flexible’ framework for the Bank’s institutions, makes a strong case for urgent action on global warming. It goes so far as to say that climate change will potentially undo development gains made in recent decades in many countries, implying that climate change can trump development, no matter how much money is spent trying to achieve the United Nations’ eight poverty-reducing Millennium Development Goals.

With this rhetoric, it appears that the Bank really wants to address climate change. But the Strategic Framework’s climate solutions suggest something different. In the name of technological and political neutrality, the Bank does nothing substantial to prioritize “new” renewable energy sources or decentralized, locally-driven mitigation or adaptation efforts. The Bank continues to stall on promises to account for its own greenhouse gas emissions, and it continues to increase financing for fossil fuels.

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