International finance

Our work on international finance focuses on “following the money.” We track some of the world’s largest and most powerful financiers to curb harmful financing activities, adopt high environmental and social safeguards, and bankroll ecologically sustainable alternatives.

Eric flashing World Bank cashThe World Bank Group
The World Bank Group aspires to “eradicate global poverty and create sustainable development,” but its projects and policies have often led to the opposite result, with devastating environmental and human rights consequences throughout the world. The World Bank persists in propping up and investing in natural resource-based megaprojects in developing countries -- like big dams and coal mining -- despite displacement of communities, harm to Indigenous Peoples, release of greenhouse gases and other serious negative impacts.

Friends of the Earth is working to make sure that the World Bank -- with its troubling record on the environment, human rights, climate impacts, and development -- cleans up its act as a major climate polluter with a poor development track record.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
The U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation are two taxpayer-supported agencies which support U.S. multinational corporations doing business abroad. Over the last decade these federal agencies have provided tens of billions of dollars in fossil fuel and other harmful projects abroad that worsen climate change, damage the environment, hurt local communities, harm human health, lead to human rights abuses, spawn corruption, increase geopolitical instability and humanitarian disasters, while failing to address the energy needs of the poor. A historic lawsuit filed by Friends of the Earth and, subsequent Congressional action and more recently, President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, have compelled these agencies to adopt better policies to protect global climate, the local environment and human health. However, these policies are now under assault by fossil fuel politicians in Congress.

Wall Street banks and their international counterparts
Friends of the Earth is a founding member of BankTrack, an international NGO advocacy network that advances accountability and sustainability in the international banking sector. In the U.S. we work to strengthen environmental and social financing standards at the leading Wall Street banks; internationally, we support allies in China as they promote environmental responsibility among Chinese banks and corporations.

Green Climate Fund
A Green Climate Fund was recently established under the United Nations Climate Convention as the main international channel through which climate finance should flow. The GCF is now in the process of being designed. Not only is Friends of the Earth campaigning to make sure that the U.S. contributes its fair share of climate finance, we are also working hard to ensure that the GCF is as equitable, climate friendly, and effective as possible in meeting the needs of peoples in developing countries. We especially want to make sure the GCF does not become an institution dominated by multinational corporations and Wall Street investors that would leave critical, yet unprofitable, priorities by the wayside.
Learn more about climate finance.

Fact sheets and articles
World Bank
Energy access
International banks
Climate finance 

World Bank, Climate Change, and Energy Financing: Something Old, Something New?
Unclear on the concept: how can the World Bank Group lead on climate finance without an energy strategy?
Bankrolling climate change: A look into the portfolios of the world's largest banks (BankTrack)
China Development Bank report

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