Published on October 5th, 2010 | by Guest Contributor0
Greening the World Bank
When I think Green Living, my first thought is not about what the World Bank is doing. But because they are behind so many international infrastructure, lending and development projects, how they view green development protocols and initiatives is important. Recently they took what I think is a big step forward in appointing Daniel Kammen, a UC-Berkeley energy professor, to lead their push for alternative energy programs in developing countries. His role will be as the chief technical specialist for all renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and was newly created for him “amid unprecedented demand from developing countries for support to address development and climate change as interlinked challenges.”
The overarching goal of his position is to address difficulties in getting the 1.5 billion people who do not have clean, reliable and affordable energy services.
“More than ever, our clients and countries are looking for solutions as they put in place economic growth and poverty reduction policies for their citizens today while taking into account the needs of the planet tomorrow.” — Inger Andersen, World Bank vice president for sustainable development
Kammen is the founding director of Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and has done extensive research and consulting on design and implementation of renewable energy systems. His new position will complement the appointment of Andrew Steer as the World Bank’s first special envoy on climate change earlier this summer. Steer is in charge of over $6 billion in projects through the World Bank’s Climate Change Investment Fund, and Kammen’s new position will provide the technical direction for the projects.
The United States, the Netherlands and Britain all abstained from supporting the World Bank’s $3.75 billion April loan for a coal-fired power plant in South Africa. It’s encouraging to see that nations are addressing green development within loan allocations and that the World Bank is responding by creating new positions to address the issues.