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Articles by Greig Aitken

Greig Aitken is the Media coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network, an NGO with member groups across central and eastern Europe that monitors public funding flows into the region from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the EU Funds. He is now into Twitter but has neither an iPhone nor a Blackberry.

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Protesters at World Bank meetings in IstanbulThis week’s World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings brought bedlam to the streets of Istanbul, with Turkish socialist groups and trade unions protesting the mere presence of the two institutions and Turkish police in riot gear responding with tear gas.

The ongoing global economic crisis dominated the proceedings in Istanbul. But with the Copenhagen climate talks just two months away climate activists made an effort to get one issue that has been bubbling for years onto the agenda — much to the dismay of World Bank staffers.

At a press conference, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation in Turkey noted that the World Bank continues to invest far more in fossil fuels than in renewable energy [PDF], pointing out that from 2007 to 2009 the Bank doled out, on average, three times more public money for climate destroying fossil fuel investments than for environmentally sustainable, climate smart renewables.

As they spoke, a handful of World Bank staffers attempted to sabotage the message. Jamal Saghir, the Bank’s Director for Energy, Transport, and Water, was on his feet interr... Read more