World Bank President: Green Growth Can Pull Millions Out of Poverty

14 April 2009: Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, gave a lecture on "The End of the Third World? Modernizing Multilateralism for a Multipolar World," at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, in Washington DC, US. He noted that climate change policy can be linked to development and win support from developing countries for low carbon growth, "but not if it is imposed as a straitjacket."

Zoellick stressed the need of developing countries for support and finance to invest in cleaner growth paths. Underlining that 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity, he said the challenge is to support transitions to cleaner energy without sacrificing access, productivity and growth that can pull hundreds of millions out of poverty. He emphasized that the world needs to pursue policies that reflect the price of carbon, increase energy efficiency, develop clean energy technologies with applications in poorer countries, promote off-grid solar, innovate with geothermal, and secure win-win benefits from forest and land use policies. He underscored that "while we must take care of the environment, we cannot consign African children to homework by candlelight or deny African workers manufacturing jobs." [World Bank Press Release]