Bankspeak of the year 2010

17 February 2011 | Humour

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Most spurious justification of policy

Carbon trading has become one of the most controversial policy proposals for global climate change mitigation, with the World Bank being a key player in supporting carbon markets (see page 3). With the Bank also earning sizeable fees from its role in carbon trading and carbon credit intermediation, Bank positions on the issue should be taken with a fistful of salt. So when massive fraud in the European carbon trading scheme became public, it was not surprising that a May World Bank report, State and trends of the carbon market 2010, called the cases of fraud and double-dealing indicators of success: “Entities don’t seek out loopholes in insignificant markets, fraudsters do not focus on small businesses.” Of course this was all before the mid January theft and immediate sale of €45 million ($61 million) worth of carbon credits from national carbon registries in Europe. That must be great progress according to the Bank.