Every month, the Halifax Initiative produces a two-page monthly update on various issues related to international finance. This month:
- IMF Board of Directors approve debt cancellation for 19 countries
- Guatemalans meet with World Bank President Wolfowitz about mining
- World Bank gets creative in accounting for its renewable energy investments
- New discussion papers
- Upcoming Meetings
- JUST THE FACTS - What are the IFC Safeguard Policies?
SELECTED ISSUES on INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Two delegates from Guatemala traveled to Washington D.C. to voice their concerns and demands regarding the Marlin mine directly to World Bank President Wolfowitz on December 9th. Glamis Gold, a US-based, Canadian registered mining company owns Marlin mine, which was built with the help of a World Bank loan. Mario Tema, an indigenous leader from Sipacapa, and Magali Rey Rosa, a representative of the Guatemalan environmental NGO, Colectivo Madre Selva formed the delegation. Mr. Tema presented Mr. Wolfowitz with a statement from numerous Sipakapense leaders, outlining their demands regarding operation of the Marlin mine. Mr. Tema also presented President Wolfowitz with a statement from the community of San Miguel Ixtahuacán. The delegate from San Miguel was unable to participate in the meeting as he was denied a US visa. Both Sipacapa and San Miguel are affected by the Marlin mine.
The World Bank revised its own figures upwards in regards to investments in renewables and energy efficiency (RE & EE), in time for the inter-governmental meetings on climate change in Montreal that ended early this month. The Bank’s latest report shows that 60 per cent of its support for renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE & EE) is in fact for big hydro projects.
The World Bank claims in a November 30 press release that it more than doubled its investment in RE & EE from fiscal year 2004 to FY 2005. The press release compares 2005 lending with its commitment to increase RE & EE support by an average of 20 per cent per year from 2005 to 2009. The Bank made this commitment at the June 2004 international conference on renewable energy held in Bonn, Germany.
The Bonn target excluded large hydro (greater than 10MW) and loans and guarantees from the Bank’s private sector and insurance arms (IFC and MIGA).
Friends of the Earth USA, Power Failure: How the World Bank is Failing to Adequately Finance Renewable Energy for Development: http://www.foe.org/camps/intl/institutions/renewableenergyreport10242005.pdf
New discussion papers (HI Members or Associates, government) on IFI issues:
Upcoming IFI-related conferences or meetings
World Social Forum, end of January 2006 in Bamako, Mali, Caracas, Venezuela and Karachi, Pakistan.