Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary Memorandum submitted by The Corner House

Q28:   "[The World Bank] does not have any climate policies and it does not have any human rights policies and it does not have any labour policies."

  This is true for the World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—the institution most commonly referred to as "The World Bank"—but it is inaccurate for the World Bank Group as a whole, which includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC recently introduced a Performance Standard on Labour and Working Conditions (Standard 2). Its Performance Standard on Pollution Prevention and Abatement also includes a clause requiring direct greenhouse gases from a project to be quantified and, where technically and financially feasible, reduced or offset. In making the remark, I had in mind the IBRD's safeguard standards, which constitute a commonly-used benchmark standard for ECGD and other ECAs. I would also point out that, despite their recent revision, the IFC Performance Standards, like the IBRD's safeguard standards, do not embody the UK's full sustainable development objectives. The point being made therefore remains valid.

15 July 2008

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