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Bretton Woods Update No.68 November/December 2009

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Bank wrestling for control of climate finance

by Ama Marston

News|20 November 2009

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

With much awaited climate talks in Copenhagen in December, the World Bank and its supporters are positioning the institution to play a significant, if not dominant, role in future climate finance. read article...

Expert panel calls for sweeping Bank governance reform

News|20 November 2009

Official ambitions for reform of World Bank governance remain limited, while the Zedillo Commission calls for far-reaching change. At the IMF, aside from small shifts in voting share, details of further quota reform are notably absent. read article...

IFC lends a hand in great "land grab"

News|20 November 2009

As the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, announces plans to increase investment in agribusiness by up to 30 per cent in the next three years, NGO reports shed light on the IFC's role in 'land grabs' and flaws in its approach to the food crisis. read article...

Unjustifiable Bank domination over climate funds in Bangladesh

by Md Shamsuddoha and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

Comment|20 November 2009

World Bank's record in Bangladesh shows there is no place for it in a just response to climate change, but it is set to dominate the new fund for adaptation in Bangladesh. Civil society critics speak out. read article...

Destructive development: A case of ecological debt in Bangladesh

by Ahmed Swapan

Comment|20 November 2009

'Development' has become synonymous with destruction in Bangladesh as many of the so-called development projects, financed mainly by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), have huge negative impacts on the ground. They have added to the global north's 'ecological debt', which must now be repaid. read article...

Progress on Bank transparency?

News|20 November 2009

The World Bank's draft disclosure policy, published in October, marks a significant step forward in Bank transparency but has been criticised for excluding key information from public access. read article...

Burning controversy over Bank and environment

News|20 November 2009

Hot on the heels of the start of its energy strategy review the Bank has launched a review of its 2001 environment strategy but continues to come under fire over its green record. read article...

The role of the World Bank in climate finance

Inside the inst|20 November 2009

The World Bank currently plays four different roles in arrangements to distribute finance for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries. In addition, its overall lending portfolio can have significant environmental impacts. read article...

Faulty systems at the Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility

News|20 November 2009

As the Bank seeks to position itself as the vehicle of choice for future climate finance, the experience of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) calls its competence into question. read article...

Bank accused of neglecting poorest countries

News|20 November 2009

The Bank is under fire for failing to focus on low-income countries in its lending, and concentrating instead on the demands of rich and middle-income countries. read article...

Leopard about to change its spots? IFIs debate role of financial sector

News|20 November 2009

The financial crisis has divided perceptions within the IFIs about the role of the financial sector in development. While some parts of the World Bank and IMF highlight the merits of small banks, others continue to push globalised finance. read article...

IMF lending programmes: old wolf in sheep's clothing?

News|20 November 2009

The debate over IMF conditionality heats up as data comes in about IMF programmes; economic turmoil continues in countries such as Latvia and Ukraine, which face stern IMF demands. read article...

IMF pours cold water on monetary reform

News|20 November 2009

As academia and NGOs call for reform of the international financial architecture, the international monetary system is the focus of scrutiny. Support for capital controls and a financial transaction tax has met resistance from the IMF. read article...

The World Bank's new energy strategy An overdue rethink

by Oliver Johnson

At Issue|20 November 2009

As the World Bank prepares to revise its energy strategy, Oliver Johnson of the Sussex Energy Group (Science and Technology Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex), reviews the Bank's chequered history in this sector. The conflicting agendas for energy are drawn out, and principles suggested to guide the Bank's support for low-carbon development. read article...

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