The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) are financing instruments designed to pilot low-carbon and climate-resilient development through the multilateral development banks (MDBs). They are comprised of two trust funds - the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF).
This event discussed how to invest in agriculture in a responsible way, including research on the scale of the global rush for land, and explored potential solutions to the problem, including the role that the World Bank can and must play.
As mining projects in South Africa and Peru face violent opposition, critics are questioning the stakes held by the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the World Bank's private sector arm) in the corporations at the centre of the controversies. New IFC funding for mining projects in Mongolia and Guinea is also causing alarm, leading to a call for a return to the recommendations of the 2005 Extractive Industries Review.
With the World Bank's safeguards review due to be launched, indigenous groups and civil society organisations (CSOs) called for it to be rigorous and extensive. Meanwhile, the environmental and social track record of the Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has come under scrutiny in India, Colombia and Brazil.
Civil society organisations met UK Executive Director to the World Bank Susanna Moorehead and staff from the Department for International Development to discuss IDA, education finance, infrastructure finance, fragile states, agriculture and land, Doing Business rankings, Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.
NGOs have called on governments to pivot away from funding the Bank-housed Climate Investment Funds (CIFs). Concerns have also been raised about private sector delivery of climate finance and that the Bank's efforts to push carbon markets are undermining genuine reforms in the forest sector.
As the G20 and the World Bank continue their push for increased investment in large-scale public-private led infrastructure projects, further scrutiny of the Bank's track record puts its strategy in question.
A June letter to the incoming World Bank president Jim Yong Kim from 141 indigenous groups and civil society organisations called on the Bank for "positive engagement" to "put indigenous peoples at the centre of its development interventions ... respecting the[ir] rights ... and ensuring their full and effective participation".
As the World Bank held its Annual Conference on Land and Poverty in April, campaigners accused it once again of facilitating and legitimising 'land grabs' that harm local communities.
At the United Nations Rio+20 conference on sustainable development held in Brazil in late June, the World Bank promoted its 'green growth' approach despite concerns from civil society groups.