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Other people's money

05 Jul 2023 | OP ED Watch

Mark Carney is back. No sooner did private firms begin fleeing from his GFANZ (Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero) than this “UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance) talked the World Bank Group into setting up the “Private Sector Investment Lab”: “Ajay Banga, World Bank Group President announced the new initiative at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, alongside the Lab’s two co-chairs – Mark Carney and Shriti Vadera.” What is this thing? Well, no less impartial an authority than the World Bank calls it “a concrete step in a broader effort to develop, and rapidly scale, solutions that address the barriers preventing private sector investment in emerging markets.” You mean barriers like the World Bank refusing to lend money for the kinds of energy projects that work?

Or that they’re really risky investments? Hard to scale that one. And what has it to do with climate? Ah well, if you really want to take a daffy risk with your clients’ money, they’re keen to help:

“Trillions of dollars of investment are required annually in emerging markets and developing countries to make adequate progress towards climate goals, to manage the risks of climate change, and to tackle poverty. The scale of this challenge requires the private sector to play a significant role alongside the World Bank Group and other development institutions.”

Nice of them to add, as a minor afterthought, tackling poverty, which they only care about if it lines up with their climate plans. And it’s darned nice of them to admit that governments can’t remake the economy and the weather all by themselves. They are willing to make bad choices, as long as other people pay for them. But it does make you wonder what the World Bank was doing until Carney came along. Less of the same or something:

“The Lab’s work will include an emphasis on scaling transition finance, with an initial sectoral focus on renewable energy and energy infrastructure. It will build on the World Bank’s current work to address existing barriers and ensure a bias towards ideas that can be implemented quickly.”

As opposed to, say, ideas that might work. But fear not:

“The core group will be charged with utilizing new approaches and recommendations that support the World Bank’s capital mobilization at the scale needed.”

New approaches. Odd. You sounded so certain it would work that we thought you had some idea how. And in a way they do: being super-smart experienced people, they will gather with others of their high calibre and plan to have a plan:

“The Lab will be comprised of senior leaders from private finance and business who have experience financing, investing, and doing business in emerging markets and developing economies. That team will be announced in the coming weeks. They will work closely with experts from government, regulatory policy, and civil society – across regions and sectors. The Lab will meet regularly and will report directly to the World Bank Group President Ajay Banga and World Bank Group leadership including Axel van Trotsenburg, Hiroshi Matano, Anna Bjerde, and Anshula Kant. Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation will oversee coordination and serve as a day-to-day point of contact into the World Bank Group.”

Step right up, suckers. Lay your money on the table and, um, go away while we waste it. No point hanging around. It won’t be here when you want it.

P.S. Actually Carney never went away. He chairs the Advisory Board of Canada 2020, “Canada’s leading, independent progressive think-tank” and apparently a joint venture between the federal Liberal party and corporate Canada, which just took on board the Clerk of the Privy Council who ducked out as the SNC Lavalin scandal was heating up and warned of assassinations if people didn’t stop criticizing those in power so rudely. And speaking of the system looking after its own, John Kerry’s daughter was just made “WHO Director-General Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health”. But remember: we deniers have all the money.

3 comments on “Other people's money”

  1. Not a single mention of her dad in the entire WHO announcement. Not even in the personal part of her bio. Wonder why?

  2. Perhaps being a well seasoned architect of devaluing fiat currencies, he feels qualified to direct as much of it as he can towards fiat energy.

  3. There's nothing "progressive" about a think tank that wants to impoverish Canadians with expensive,unreliable,intermittent,inefficient renewable energy schemes.

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