Road to Rio: How WWF’s Green Economy Strategy Would Impoverish The Poor

May 2012 – Green Papers: Issue X

In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit, the United Nations struck a consensus. Measures to achieve sustainable development must equally reflect environmental, social and economic interests. Ever since that historic meeting, green NGOs and some western aid donors have sought to unpick that consensus. They have consistently put up proposals giving priority to the environment over economic growth. Developing countries, on the other hand, have consistently demanded fidelity to the 1992 consensus. All governments are agreed on the need to expand global trade Continue reading

Trees Before Poverty; The World Bank’s Approach to Forestry and Climate Change

November 2011 – A World Growth Report

At the United Nations climate change conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen, the World Bank tabled a report recommending a global strategy to reduce the 17 per cent of global greenhouse emissions caused by deforestation and land use. The strategy consisted of curbing the forestry and agricultural sectors, and then substituting them with other industries. In other words, it presented a restructuring of the forestry and agricultural sectors. The Bank sought pledges to fund that strategy throughout and following UN conference based on the 17 per cent number, Continue reading

Abuse of Sustainability Standards; An Attack on Free Trade, Competition and Economic Growth

September 2011 – A Study by World Growth

The case to enhance sustainability is now being used to justify trade barriers, constraints on competition, denial of consumer choice and slower economic growth. In different spheres, governments, large corporations and NGOs are taking action which will produce these perverse results across a common set of industries and products. These are industries which have been selected by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to advance its environmental ambitions. They include timber and paper, vegetable oils, seafood, beef and sugar. The European Commission and some of its leading members Continue reading

Corporate Social Responsibility – How Global Business is Getting it Wrong in Emerging Markets

May 2011 – A World Growth Study

Every major corporation in the developed world is expected to have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. These are company goals to improve sustainability, social engagement, and labor and human rights which demonstrate the business is a ‘good corporate citizen.’ This report reveals that leading global companies are advancing CSR strategies that are likely to antagonize governments in emerging economies, advance causes of little interest to their local people and jeopardize business activity in the high growth economies of the Emerging Markets. This report reviews Continue reading

World Bank’s New Anti Poor Palm Oil Policy

May 2011 – Green Papers: Issue VIII

The World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation have released the Final Framework for Engagement in the Palm Oil Sector. The Framework will have wide ranging negative impacts on the growth and development opportunities from palm oil industry in developing nations. The Framework retains the most harmful elements of the original strategy and will move the World Bank Group further away from its mandate to reduce poverty and establish it as an international environmental regulator. It will hinder attempts to expand food production to meet growing demand and rising prices. Through this Framework the World Bank clearly establishes Continue reading

How REDD Will Impoverish the Developing World and Reduce Biodiversity; An Indonesian Case Study

March 2011 – A Study by World Growth

A number of developing countries have committed to reduce greenhouse gases and to participate in international REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programs to cease deforestation and reshape their economies as “low carbon” economies. Environmental nongovernment organisations (NGOs) and Western donors argue this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity. The REDD programs will have the opposite effect. It will impoverish those economies. Continue reading

The Economic Benefit of Palm Oil to Indonesia

February 2011 – A Study by World Growth

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil and the industry has been the economy’s most valuable agricultural export sector for the past decade. The palm oil industry is a significant contributor to production in Indonesia. In 2008, Indonesia produced over 18 million tonnes of palm oil. The industry also contributes to regional development as a significant source of poverty alleviation through farm cultivation and downstream processing. Palm oil production provides a reliable form of income for a large number of Indonesia’s rural poor, Continue reading

World Bank’s Revised Palm Oil Strategy Undermines Economic Development & Restricts Global Markets

February 2011 – A Submission by World Growth

World Growth has reviewed the revision by the World Bank of its proposed framework for engagement in palm oil following further comments from stakeholders. The new text now refers to many of the concerns raised by Governments, interest groups in developing countries and World Growth that the draft strategy disregarded the Bank’s obligation to advance economic development. Unfortunately, that improvement means little, because the original strategy proposed by the Bank remains basically unaltered. It continues to subordinate reduction of poverty and expansion of Continue reading

Palm Oil and Food Security: The Impediment of Land Supply; How Environmentalists and “No Conversion” are Inflating Food Prices

December 2010 – A study by World Growth

Over the past three decades, the price of palm oil in real terms has fallen by around 1 percent per annum, which represents a major improvement in food security for consuming countries. If palm oil had not been grown commercially, its land would have been reallocated to alternative uses but less vegetable oil would have been produced, other things being equal. The real price of the vegetable oils would have risen and food security would have suffered, particularly in Asia and Africa. An examination of the “no conversion” position in relation to palm oil makes it clear that Continue reading

REDD and Conservation: Avoiding The New Road To Serfdom

December 2010 – A World Growth Study

As negotiations for a new global approach to climate change remain stalled and there is no expectation of progress at the negotiations in Cancun in December 2010, donors have instead made the cessation of deforestation an interim target. A staggering USD 4 billion has been pledged to support this goal. This supposes two things about deforestation, or as we prefer to describe it, conversion of forest land to other uses. First, this will reduce emissions significantly. And, second, the conversion of vast areas of forest to conservation parks will benefit the people of those countries Continue reading