World Bank to Finance Carbon Markets

The World Bank wants to help set up cap-and-trade carbon markets in the developing world.

On Wednesday, Robert B. Zoellick, the World Bank president, announced the creation of a multi-million dollar fund that aims "to create trading mechanisms to stimulate clean energy projects and to slow the destruction of tropical forests." Tropical deforestation is one of the major sources of climate-altering emissions.

Countries that adopt the pollution credit markets will be afforded greater access to World Bank funding for clean energy programs. Zoellick also announced plans to assist island nations that will be hit first by rising sea levels caused by climate change.

As the Cancun climate talks plod along, showing only modest progress, the World Bank is stepping up and taking action now, regardless of the results of the climate talks. The organization realizes that the poorest countries of the world are the first to be hit by the effects of climate change, and are also the least capable of dealing with these effects.

Of course, not everyone is into the idea, and the announcement sparked protests in the streets of Cancun. But it's hard to argue that the $100 million dollars in World Bank funding has tremendous potential to get green energy projects off the ground in the countries that need them most. China, Mexico, Indonesia, and Chile will be the first partners. Expect others to follow soon.

(via New York Times)

Photo: Demonstrators in Cancun protesting World Bank involvement in financing climate action. (AFP/Getty)

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