|Biofuel production is certainly one of the culprits in the current global food crisis. But while the diversion of corn from food to biofuel feedstock has been a factor in food prices shooting up, the more primordial problem has been the conversion of economies that are largely food-self-sufficient into chronic food importers. Here the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) figure as much more important villains.
Walden Bello (2008-08-05)
Whether in Latin America, Asia, or Africa, the story has been the same: the destabilization of peasant producers by a one-two punch of IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programs that gutted government investment in the countryside followed by the massive influx of subsidized U.S. and European Union agricultural imports after the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture pried open markets.
African agriculture is a case study of how doctrinaire economics serving corporate interests can destroy a whole continent’s productive base. Continue reading The destruction of African agriculture
Carbon credits are a key component of national and international emissions trading schemes that have been implemented to mitigate global warming. They provide a way to reduce greenhouse effect emissions on an industrial scale by capping total annual emissions and letting the market assign a monetary value to any shortfall through trading. Credits can be exchanged between businesses or bought and sold in international markets at the prevailing market price. Credits can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes between trading partners and around the world. Continue reading World Bank Carbon Plan ‘A Protection Racket’
Speculators blamed for driving up price of basic foods as 100 million face severe hunger. Monsanto reported net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled. Cargill’s net earnings soared by 86 per cent and Archer Daniels Midland increased its net earnings by 42 per cent. Continue reading Multinationals make billions in profit out of growing global food crisis
Policy in Focus – Institute for Policy Studies
The World Bank’s long-running identity crisis is proving hard to shake. When efforts to rebrand itself as a “knowledge bank” didn’t work, it devised a new identity as a “Green Bank.” Really? Yes, it’s true. Sure, the Bank continues to finance fossil fuel projects globally, but never mind. The World Bank has seized upon the immense challenges climate change poses to humanity and is now front and center in the complicated, international world of carbon finance. It can turn the dirtiest carbon credits into gold. More