Jason Kirk is Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University in North Carolina, U.S.A.
He writes in The Conversation:
This move brings its actions more in sync with its overarching commitment to slowing the pace of climate change and keeping the Paris agreement on track. Based on my research regarding international relations, I see this move – which World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced in December – as significant for two reasons.
The bank has signaled that the international community is taking the fight against global warming more seriously than ever. And it shows that the bank intends to keep playing a leading role in that battle at a time when its most powerful shareholder, the U.S., is turning its back on global environmental leadership.”
The article outlines the Bank’s earlier role in climate decisions “In 2013, the bank decided to stop financing the construction of coal-fired power plants, except in cases where no viable alternatives existed.”
But, as Professor Kirk points out:
“...the World Bank Group’s two private sector arms, such as the International Finance Corp. … has indirectly funded 41 new coal-fired power plants in countries like Bangladesh and the Philippines by financing banks that lent money to build them…”
The relationship between the World Bank and the U.S. is also examined, especially in regards to the future of the Paris Accord.