Report Recommends That World Bank Stop Backing Oil, Coal Projects

The World Bank should phase out all investments in oil and coal projects by 2008 because the environmental risks are too high, an independent report has recommended. Now, the bank must figure out how to respond to the Extractive Industry Review, which it commissioned in 2001 following criticism about the bank’s backing of natural-resource extraction projects. The study, whose recommendations are not binding, advises the bank to “devote its limited scarce resources to investments in renewable energy resource development, emissions-reducing projects, clean energy technology, energy efficiency and conservation, and other efforts that de-link energy use from greenhouse gas emissions.” Rashad Kaldany, director of the bank’s oil, gas, mining, and chemicals department, said of the report, “It is one of the ones that we will study carefully.”