When the World Bank gets busy, it usually spells bad news for people and the planet. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancún was no exception, with the Bank launching a flurry of new climate-related initiatives. Chief amongst these was the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), a new Fund which encourages the “scaling up” of carbon trading in middle-income countries. The aim is to develop carbon offsets “beyond existing CDM.” This pre-empts international negotiations on controversial new carbon markets, which made little progress in Cancún. In launching the PMR, it is clear that the World Bank is prepared to push ahead with new carbon markets regardless of the outcome of multilateral negotiations, using bilateral agreements if necessary, and bankrolling its initiative with “fast-start” climate financing. A closer examination of the financial assumptions behind the new Fund reveals that the major costs of the initiative will have to be met by the countries listed as “beneficiaries,” whilst the Bank and industrialised country donors retain significant control over how “market readiness” is implemented.
Read the rest of my article about this here.