• Bruce Rich
  • New Internationalist, Issue 214
  • December 5, 1990

The World Bank has been a target for environmental groups around the world for the better part of a decade. In response to this activism, the Bank claimed in 1987 to have seen the green light. Yet some of its most publicized environmental initiatives, such as greatly increased lending to counter tropical deforestation, are now widely seen as global ecological menaces. Instead of the benign green giant that was hoped for, the new, environmental World Bank has turned out in some cases to be an ecological Frankenstein armed with a chainsaw.

The Bank is preparing more and more projects that allegedly promote environmental protection and conservation. In a few specific cases, environmental reform efforts are beginning to produce results. But for every new, environmentally positive project touted by the Bank, environmentalists can point to many others that are causing completely avoidable and unnecessary environmental destruction and social disruption

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