Just a month before releasing a new report on climate change and the need to “turn down the heat” (see Update 86), the World Bank agreed a $50 million loan to the Chinese prefecture of Shangrao, located in the northeast of China’s Jiangxi province, to build a new airport. According to Binyam Reja, World Bank lead transport specialist in China, the $105 million airport project, which was approved in mid May, will “incorporat[e] environmental sustainability to reduce carbon emissions as well as energy saving”. Never mind that aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector and the most climate-intensive form of transport. Nor that Shangrao lies on one of China’s planned high speed rail routes. A perusal of the procurement plan for the project reveals that energy saving measures are called for only in relation to the “storm water reuse system” and a “ground aircraft auxiliary power unit”. Those will surely be helpful when climate-change induced flooding hits the airport.
Originally created to help the poor escape poverty and deprivation, the World Bank became the most important advocate for the commercialised microcredit model. Yet, critics argued it undermined the chances of sustainable and equitable development to create a poverty trap of historic proportions.
While the World Development Report (WDR) 2018 on education has some redeeming features, it is part of the Bank's longstanding very narrow view of education, and is silent on education financing.
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