• Bruce Rich
  • Environmental Forum
  • May-June 2015
  • p. 22

World Bank efforts to weaken environmental and social safeguard policies are provoking international concern. These measures date back thirty years and have played a critical role in promoting the adoption of similar policies at other multilateral development banks. And they have catalyzed environmental and social assessment procedures at export credit agencies and in the project finance of major commercial banks....The safeguards dilution is a misguided effort to ensure the bank can move money more quickly, in larger amounts, and with fewer procedures to avoid being marginalized by the growing volume of loans from public lenders in China, Brazil, and other emerging economies, as well as from private international banks. But the World Bank cannot prevail in such a race to the bottom. It will only remain relevant by refocusing on the environmental and social quality of its lending, rather than abandoning it. 

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