Foreclosing the Future
6 x 9
6 x 9
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has vowed that his institution will fight poverty and climate change, a claim that World Bank presidents have made for two decades. But if worldwide protests and reams of damning internal reports are any indication, too often it does just the opposite. By funding development projects and programs that warm the planet and destroy critical natural resources on which the poor depend, the Bank has been hurting the very people it claims to serve. What explains this blatant contradiction?
If anyone has the answer, it is arguably Bruce Rich—a lawyer and expert in public international finance who has for the last three decades studied the Bank’s institutional contortions, the real-world consequences of its lending, and the politics of the global environmental crisis. What emerges from the bureaucratic dust is a disturbing and gripping story of corruption, larger-than-life personalities, perverse incentives, and institutional amnesia. The World Bank is the Vatican of development finance, and its dysfunction plays out as a reflection of the political hypocrisies and failures of governance of its 188 member countries.
Foreclosing the Future shows how the Bank’s failure to address the challenges of the 21st Century has implications for everyone in an increasingly interdependent world. Rich depicts how the World Bank is a microcosm of global political and economic trends—powerful forces that threaten both environmental and social ruin. Rich shows how the Bank has reinforced these forces, undercutting the most idealistic attempts at alleviating poverty and sustaining the environment, and damaging the lives of millions. Readers will see global politics on an increasingly crowded planet as they never have before—and come to understand the changes necessary if the World Bank is ever to achieve its mission.
"deeply-researched and filled with heretofore publicly unavailable Bank documents.... His book argues thoroughly and methodically that the Bank's permissive attitude towards environmental destruction has continued, if not worsened, in the past decade."
The New Republic
"Rich's most valuable insights concern how often the World Bank has been informed – by its own internal review boards, no less – that its policies have not reduced poverty so much as hastened environmental destruction and enabled corruption by public officials in developing nations. Nevertheless, the bank has gone on 'pushing money out the door'—giving large loans that make it appear to be moving heaven and earth on behalf of the poor but in practice often do the opposite."
"...offers a passionate and sharp-tongued but well-informed analysis. Rich doesn't spare the World Bank management with critique, but is aware that the buck doesn't stop there."
"A compelling account of the past two decades of global environmental politics as played out in the world's leading development institution. Foreclosing the Future underscores that the need for public scrutiny of international financial institutions is as great as ever."
Senator Tom Udall, NM, Chair, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere & Global Narcotics Affairs
"Bruch Rich paints a vivid picture of the environmental damage that civic groups, governments, corporations, and the multinational lending sector have all grappled with over the past years."
Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley
"The strength of the book, however, is its dissection of the Bank's approach to climate change."
"As well as presenting powerful arguments for reform, the book is crammed full of facts about the Bank and international development nance. It also documents two decades of civil society campaigns to hold the Bank accountable and promote reform. For these reasons, it will be of great interest to civil society activists and campaigners in the North and South."
Forest Peoples Programme
"...this book offers an important pooling of evidence that should guide both scholars and practitioners in their understanding of and work with development in general and the World Bank specifically. Rich's volume is an important addition to the conversation on the role and impact of the World Bank and should receive careful and serious attention in efforts to reform the Bank and truly alleviate global poverty while preserving the world in which all people must live."
Poverty & Public Policy
"Based on his expertise and numerous case studies, as well as internal and external reports and evaluations, Rich gives a compelling account of the past 20 years of global of global environmental politics played out in the world's leading developmental institutions."
Chapter 1. Tiger Talk
Chapter 2. Present at the Creation
Chapter 3. "I Can Change the Approval Culture to an Effectiveness Culture"
Chapter 4. High Risk, High Reward
Chapter 5. The Logic Was Textbook Perfect
Chapter 6. Backwards into the Future
Chapter 7. The Brief, Broken Presidency of Paul Wolfowitz
Chapter 8. The Carbon Caravan
Chapter 9. A Market Like No Other
Chapter 10. Financializing Development
Chapter 11. Dying for Growth
Chapter 12. What Does It Take?
Erratum: CERs (pp. xv, 142, 163, 292), issued under the Kytoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism, are Certified Emission Reductions, not Certified Emission Rights.
Chapter 1 Notes
1. World Bank Global Tiger Initiative Secretariat, Global Tiger Recovery Program 2010–2022 (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2011), iv.
2. Fred Weir, “Putin Praises DiCaprio as ‘Real Man’ after Harrowing Journey to Tiger Summit,” Christian Science Monitor, November 24, 2010. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/1124/Putin-praises-DiCaprio-as-real-man-after-harrowing-journey-to-tiger-summit
3. Shaun Walker, “DeCaprio, Putin, and the All-Star Plot to Save Tigers,” The Independent (UK), November 25, 2010. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/dicaprio-putin-and-the-allstar-plot-to-save-tigers-2143085.html
5. Walker, “DiCaprio, Putin, and the All-Star Plot to Save Tigers.”
6. Jonathan Watts, “Putin May Be the Tiger’s Champion, but China Will Decide the Species’ Future: Premier Wen’s Vague Words at the Tiger Summit Do Little to Inspire Confidence in the Country That Drives a Gruesome Trade,” The Guardian, Environment Blog, November 23, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/nov/23/putin-tiger-china-premier-wen
7. Caroline Fraser, “As Tigers Near Extinction, A Last-Ditch Strategy Emerges,” Yale Environment 360, November 15, 2010. http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_tigers_near_extinction_the_world_bank_and_environmental_groups_craft_last-ditch_strategy/2339/
8. “New $350-Million Plan to Save the Tiger—But Will It Work?,” WildlifeExtra.com, Wild Travel, n.d.
9. Technically the World Bank Group also includes a fifth institution, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. As the name indicates, this is an arbitration panel, not a financial lending, insurance, or investment agency, as are the IBRD, IDA, IFC, and MIGA.
10. Voting shares differ, though, for the different affiliates, e.g., in the IBRD the United States has 16.09 percent, Japan 9.62 percent, Germany 4.41 percent, and the United Kingdom and France 4.22 percent each. In IDA the U.S. share is 11.09 percent, followed by 8.74 percent for Japan, 5.68 percent for Germany, 5.46 percent for the United Kingdom, and 3.86 percent for France. See: The World Bank, “Executive Directors and Their Voting Power, June 30, 2011,”Annual Report 2011: Year in Review (Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2011). At the IFC the United States has 24.03 percent of the voting shares, followed by Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom with 5.96 percent, 5.44 percent, 5.11 percent, and 5.11 percent, respectively. See: International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, I Am Opportunity—IFC Annual Report 2011 (Washington, DC: IFC, 2011), 91; International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, I Am Opportunity IFC Annual Report 2011 (Washington, DC: IFC, 2011).
11. See: World Bank Group website, Worldbank.org.
12 World Bank, Annual Report 2011, 3–4.
13. “Rights groups say 19 journalists have been victims of contract killings in Russia since 2000, the year Putin was first elected president, and none of the masterminds of the murders has been jailed.” See: Timothy Heritage, “Analysis: Journalist’s Murder a Test Case for Russia’s Putin,” Reuters, October 6, 2011.
14. Gary Peach, “Greenpeace Decries Russian PM’s Environmental Record over Past Decade,” Associated Press, June 4, 2010.
15. Claudia Dreifus, “Zoologist Gives a Voice to Big Cats in the Wilderness,” New York Times, Science Section, December 18, 2007.
16. Patrick Barkham, “One Last Chance: Can We Save the Tiger?,” The Guardian, November 9, 2010.
20. Peter Foster, “Poachers Empty Indian Wildlife Park of Tigers,” Telegraph, London, April 9, 2005; Fraser, “As Tigers Near Extinction.”
21. Rachna Singh, “Illegal Mining Threatens Sariska,” Times of India, October 13, 2010.
22. Kathy Lilly, “Members of Russian Summit Have Diverging Views but United Goal: Saving the Tiger,” Washington Post, November 20, 2010.
23. Marwaan Macan-Marker, “World Bank Aims to Earn Stripes through Tiger Summit,” Online Asia Times, January 26, 2010.
24. For more on the Operations Evaluation Department, see: Bruce Rich, Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment, and the Crisis of Development (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1994), 171–72.
25. Richard Carlos Worden and Colin Reese, IEG Review of Twenty World Bank–Funded Projects in Tiger Landscapes, Evaluation Brief 12 (Washington, DC: World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), 2011), x.
26. Ibid., 17. The three projects in question were so-called ICDPs—Integrated Conservation and Development Projects. The concept of combining rural development with conservation dates back to the mid-1980s.
27. Ibid., xi.
28. See, e.g.: Steve Berkman, The World Bank and the Gods of Lending (Sterling, VA: Kumaria