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How the World Bank keeps poor nations poor

October 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood

An excellent analysis from Dellers:

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What is the point of the World Bank? You probably think of it, if at all, as a benign institution, a kind of giant, multilateral aid agency, whose job it is to bring liquidity to developing nations and help them grow out of poverty.

Until not so long ago, that was indeed its function. Created alongside the International Monetary Fund at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, the bank did sterling work in its early years helping countries like France recover from the war; and later, giving mostly third world countries the vital seed money needed to help attract investors to risky capital projects. Its multiplier effect on investment can be extraordinary. In 2013, the World Bank gave Kosovo $40 million towards building a lignite power station. This sent out the positive signal needed to encourage the private sector to complete the funding with another $1,960 million.

Amazing. Except that’s not what the World Bank does now. It won’t fund any more coal-fired power stations because they are not clean and green. Instead, it wants developing nations to embrace intermittent, unreliable and wildly expensive renewables like wind and solar as part of a mission — outlined by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon — to ‘defeat poverty and save the planet’. In fact, it will achieve neither of those goals. Take Nigeria, whose capital Lagos has overtaken Cairo as Africa’s largest city, but whose electrical grid produces so little power that the economy runs mostly on private (and filthy, polluting) diesel generators. Nigeria’s National Electric Power Authority (NEPA plc) is known as ‘Never Expect Power Always, Please Light a Candle’. Blackouts and brownouts are common, as they are throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and the costs to the economy are enormous. The local mobile phone company MTM, with 62 million subscribers, spends 70 per cent of its operating expenditure on diesel to keep its network powered up.

Here is Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun: ‘We want to build a coal power plant because we are a country blessed with coal, yet we have a power problem. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that it will make sense to build a coal power plant. However, we are being blocked because it is not green. This is not fair, because they have an entire western industrialisation that was built on coal-fired energy.”

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She’s dead right it’s not fair. The UN is forever banging on about global injustice and admits that wealth redistribution is among its sustainable development goals. Yet at the same time, its policy of eco-imperialism forces renewables on a reluctant but largely helpless developing world — the surest way of guaranteeing that the world’s poorest nations stay that way.

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There are 1.2 billion people without access to electricity and 2.7 billion without modern cooking facilities. Household air pollution from solid fuels is estimated to have killed 3.5 million people in 2010. The cost of blackouts and brownouts in sub-Saharan Africa is, in some cases, in excess of 5 per cent of GDP. Unlike developed nations, these countries do not need their consciences salved by bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes. They need energy that works.

According to the UN’s figures, the cost of universal energy access is just $50 billion a year. But that’s if it comes from fossil fuel. If you insist on using renewables, the bill is at least ten times greater. Not only are renewables more materials-intensive — a kilo of steel in a gas turbine ends up producing 1,000 times more energy than it does in a wind turbine — but they require a massively more complex and expensive grid system, which developing nations can ill afford.

How did this madness happen? It began in 1995 when an Australian-American lawyer and investment banker called James Wolfensohn was appointed as the World Bank’s president. This arch-globalist was a protégé of arguably the most sinister and influential figure in the history of the green movement, the late Canadian billionaire Maurice Strong.

Strong, who was very close to Mao’s Chinese communist regime, was not a fan of democracy. That’s why he spent much of his career working through the UN, which he recognised as the ideal institution for creating a kind of one-world government run by enlightened technocrats like himself. He was also the main instigator of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, at which he persuaded 179 nations to sign a document called Agenda 21 putting ‘sustainability’ at the heart of global policy. Environmentalism, Strong understood, was the perfect big crisis issue which could be used to subvert the sovereignty of nation states in the name of ‘saving the planet’.

Under Wolfensohn’s direction, the World Bank’s goals changed dramatically. Where before it had been all about alleviating poverty by encouraging efficient growth, now it was about more nebulous ‘progressive’ goals like supporting the environment, women’s rights, labour rights and the encouragement of NGOs. Thus, it became yet another world body to fall into line with conservative commentator John O’Sullivan’s First Law: ‘All organisations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.’

This deterioration has accelerated under its current president, Dr Jim Young Kim, an appointment of President Obama’s. As Rupert Darwell notes in an excoriating report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, his policy of putting ‘environmental sustainability over poverty reduction’ is inhumane. There is no economic case, let alone a moral one, for pushing ‘high-cost, operationally defective technologies on to nations where they will retard development and make electrification vastly more expensive’.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/10/how-the-world-bank-keeps-poor-nations-poor/

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19 Comments
  1. HotScot permalink
    October 19, 2017 6:08 pm

    Scathing.

  2. October 19, 2017 6:29 pm

    Dellers tells it exactly like it is. Unlike the BBC, the Grauniad, Channel 4 etc etc.

  3. October 19, 2017 6:35 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    What else do we expect from green imperialists

    https://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/greenimperialism-so-much-better-for-poor-people-to-die/

  4. John Cooknell permalink
    October 19, 2017 7:12 pm

    Not so sure that this latest world bank green energy fiasco is any worse than all the other “third world development fiasco’s” that the world bank have been involved with.

  5. kaykiser permalink
    October 19, 2017 7:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Science is distorted by progressive philosophy.

  6. markl permalink
    October 19, 2017 8:09 pm

    The World Bank is another ‘wealth redistribution’ organization like the UN and nothing more. They’ve all been co opted by the Globalization/One World Government cabal. If you look at its’ history you’ll find nothing but politicized and inept actions. All of these world organizations have put themselves in the cat bird seat by shaming and demeaning the major donor countries to their very existence …. i.e. Western industrial countries …. by claiming majority rule with their pronouncements. It’s time we leave them to their own machinations and see how long they last.

  7. October 19, 2017 8:17 pm

    Whilst the World Bank governors polish their green halos the Chinese and Japanese have stepped in and are not far from relegating the decadent West to an historical theme park for their tourists to enjoy.

  8. October 19, 2017 9:51 pm

    I suspect there would be public outrage in the UK if the World bank lent money to any undeveloped country to build a coal fired power station. Practically all the developed countries are going down the increased renewables route. So we are all partly to blame for the treatment given to places like Nigeria.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 20, 2017 12:55 pm

      I doubt anyone but the warmists would care.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    October 19, 2017 11:08 pm

    Strong, who was very close to Mao’s Chinese communist regime, was not a fan of democracy. That’s why he spent much of his career working through the UN, which he recognised as the ideal institution for creating a kind of one-world government run by enlightened technocrats like himself. He was also the main instigator of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, at which he persuaded 179 nations to sign a document called Agenda 21 putting ‘sustainability’ at the heart of global policy. Environmentalism, Strong understood, was the perfect big crisis issue which could be used to subvert the sovereignty of nation states in the name of ‘saving the planet’.

    Yep, the really clever bit was to sell this as some great altruistic endeavour when, philanthropy was the very last thing on their minds. It’s all about power, literally and metaphorically speaking, absolute dominion is the end and all means to achieve it are insofar as totalitarians are concerned – including genocide are thus justified – even desirous.

    This is why reasoned logic and facts do not wash with this lot and why I fear only some sort of kickback, a civil kickback can be the end game and it won’t be pretty nor petty.

  10. October 20, 2017 12:12 am

    Also the UNDP
    https://ssrn.com/abstract=2812034

    These guys have one job.
    To end poverty.
    And they are out there playing climate games with taxpayer funding.
    Defund!

  11. Sparks permalink
    October 20, 2017 1:20 am

    Maybe they should get rid of all white people,South Africa did it… only kidding, white people burn quite well

  12. Tim Hammond permalink
    October 20, 2017 9:22 am

    The sad thing is that all the stuff the World Bank shifted to trying to encourage comes naturally as a result of wealth. In other words, if the World Bank has simply made everyone richer, all the Women’s rights, Worker’s rights, cleaner environments etc would have happened without them doing or spending anything.

    Instead we have hundreds of billions spent trying to introduce this stuff when the economic incentives – which always win – are against them. So these poor countries neither get rich nor get the rights and cleaner air.

    It is a disgusting shambles that has failed by its own standards and failed by the standards it should have been following.

  13. Gerry, England permalink
    October 20, 2017 12:57 pm

    The Chinese rulers are so much sharper than any of the western dross at the moment and will step in to fund power stations while the west handrings and bleats. Of course having helped these countries to power up, they can then help them exploit their mineral wealth and export it to China.

    • Tim Hammond permalink
      October 20, 2017 1:50 pm

      They are not really smarter, they just have a lot of plant to sell. The Chinese are still thinking exports make you rich and have massively over-invested in export-driven industries. Unless they can get other countries to build the things that need their exports, they are going to have a huge problem.

      I’m not sure that is very smart.

      • October 20, 2017 3:54 pm

        But their domestic market is vast. If mass poverty is allowed to continue, don’t expect the migrant ‘crisis’ to end any time soon. It will be like the Greek financial crisis – a way of life.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        October 21, 2017 9:14 pm

        China has just scratched the surface of its own economy. Boosting home demand and rebalancing from exports is what will keep them busy. Also, if they are providing reliable electricity grids in Africa, think what will happen to their economies.

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