As finance ministers gathered in Washington DC for the World Bank’s spring meeting this week, they approved one reform and drew battle lines over other changes.
A change in the equity-to-loan ratio from 20% to 19% doesn’t sound like much, but it will free up $4 billion a year for the bank to invest – about a third of which should go to climate projects.
Tweaks like that won’t fix the climate crisis though and reformers want more. Some want the ratio to go down further, although powerful credit rating agencies will have to be kept onside.
And developing countries want to go beyond just accounting tweaks. They called for governments to give the bank more money.
But rich nations aren’t keen. The foreign minister of Switzerland blamed “scarce public resources” this week while the US and co are thought to fear China will increase its voting power at the bank by giving it the most money.
This week’s stories
- “Life or death”: Weather-watchers warn against Elon Musk’s Twitter changes
- Developing countries call for new government funds for World Bank
- World Bank steering committee and US urge for reforms on climate lending
- Green hydrogen rush risks energy ‘cannibalisation’ in Africa, analysts say
Elsewhere, Elon Musk’s Twitter continues to embarrass itself. It is now charging users to post lots of automated tweets and will make no exceptions, not even for urgent weather warnings.
The US National Weather Service said it would have to tweet warnings manually which could take minutes and “for every warning issued, seconds could make the difference between life and death”.
We asked Twitter to comment but, like all journalists these days, we just received an auto-response email. All it contained was an emoji of a lump of faeces with a face on it. Charming!