NGOs Press World Bank, IDB Attention on Energy, Climate Change Issues

A forest in Bhutan. Photo by: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Civil society groups are urging the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank to set up policies that help mitigate climate change and promote sustainable energy development.

The IDB is set to consult non-governmental organizations beginning July 30 regarding the draft of its climate change strategy, which is due for release in April 2011. Meanwhile, the World Bank has been collecting inputs from civil society since February. The bank began drafting its energy strategy in July, IPS News says.

Ten NGOs from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. wrote to the IDB, urging it to reduce the contributions of its projects to climate change, to respect rights of communities affected by its projects and increase transparency of its procedures. IDB should also focus on the development of renewable sources of energy and phase out hydroelectric dams and fossil-fuel sources, the NGOs said.

“Access to sustainable energy should be a priority, and they should assess the poor communities that they intend to support in order to determine the best options available,” said Astrid Puentes, co-director of the Inter-American Association for Environmental Defense, one of the NGOs that signed the letter.

Meanwhile, 13 other groups wrote to the World Bank regarding its draft energy strategy. The groups emphasized the need to respect communities’ rights, promote transparency and incorporate green energy in the planning, implementation and accounting of its projects.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.