World Bank seeks progress on climate change
July 20, 2005
The World Bank has expressed a willingness to take a leading role in the effort to make progress on the issue of climate change. The banks top environmental official, Ian Johnson, said on Wednesday that it can assume such a role because of the effect global warming will have on its largest clients in the developing world. Mr. Johnson said that the bank can serve as a mediator between nations on the issue and that it is in a position to reconcile the great differences in the approaches between developed and developing countries on the issue of global warming and climate change. He acknowledged that it will be a challenge to get various world leaders to all focus on the same issue. As an entry into this effort, the World Bank will begin consultations with governments, the private sector, and other institutions in preparation for a meeting on climate change that British Prime Minister Tony Blair will chair in November. Even before that meeting, however, the World Bank is expected host a meeting on the issue chaired by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and British Finance Minister Gordon Brown during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in September. The World Bank has long been a behind-the-scenes force in politically sensitive issues such as climate change, according to Mr. Johnson.