World Bank Group Energy Sector Strategy [July 12, 2011]   [open pdf - 425KB]

"One in five people worldwide lack access to electricity. This is among the many challenges that financial institutions face when providing assistance to lower-income countries in order to promote economic and social development. Filling the need for access to modern energy sources has the potential to substantially increase world-wide economic growth, creating markets in the developing world for products from the developed world, and vice versa. Filling this need may also result in environmental problems that could threaten development, including an increase in pollution that damages fisheries, reduces farm fertility, poses health risks, and contributes to climate change. In response to these risks, the World Bank Group (WBG) has reported its intentions to revise its strategy for energy and infrastructure lending to better address energy poverty alleviation and environmentally sustainable development. […] While the U.S. Administration oversees the day-to-day participation in WBG operations, the U.S. Congress-- through its role in WBG appointments, appropriations, and legislative guidance--retains significant input. U.S. guidance to the WBG has focused on the institution's lending practices as a means to induce greater environmental sustainability in multilateral development assistance. The ESS [Energizing Sustainable Development: Energy Sector Strategy of the World Bank Group] thus becomes another potential vehicle for the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Administration to further address concerns regarding energy and infrastructure lending in lower-income countries."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41912
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