Head of World Bank Steps Down, Goes Green

The head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, is stepping down three years early to join the investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners, which focuses on investing in renewable power generation assets in developing countries, according to the Financial Times News of his departure next week caught many in the financial world by surprise, but it also signals the growing importance and profitability of the development of green infrastructure.  

The Times’ Owen Walker attributes this increase to more demand for renewables because countries are looking for ways to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement.  But more than that, it is the investors themselves that are looking to make their money “greener” — including institutional investors whose customers are demanding that their retirement accounts have a low carbon footprint.

It is an interesting move for Kim, who is a medical doctor by training, and co-founded the nonprofit health care organization Partners in Health in 1987 and also served as President of Dartmouth College.  He has been President of the Bank since 2012, and had accepted another five-year term in 2017.

Why This Matters:  The World Bank is one of the largest donors to infrastructure projects in developing countries.  Its leadership has a huge say in how green those projects will be. The U.S. President — or his chief advisors — will say who is nominated, because the U.S. government is the largest investor in the bank, holding 17% of its shares.  Who will President Trump nominate?  According to CNN, Ivanka Trump is running the nomination process and Idra Nooyi, the former CEO of Pepsi, is the top contender.  Nooyi was a mentor to Ivanka, and if selected, she would be the first woman to lead the Bank.  The question is whether a Trump pick would prioritize climate adaptation and renewable energy projects.

Up Next

Republicans In Congress Ask Trump For Royalty Reduction for Oil and Gas Companies

Republicans In Congress Ask Trump For Royalty Reduction for Oil and Gas Companies

ll reports that on Friday, 14 Members of Congress (13 Republicans and 1 Democrat) asked the Trump Administration to use its authority to temporarily reduce or eliminate royalties they are required to pay the government under their leases.

Why This Matters: The oil and gas industry has received enough handouts.

Continue Reading 404 words
Oil and Gas Lease Sales Go On Even Though There Are Few Takers and Lots of Litigation

Oil and Gas Lease Sales Go On Even Though There Are Few Takers and Lots of Litigation

Between coronavirus economic meltdown and the excess oil supply thanks to the Russia and Saudi Arabia price war, bidding on the latest oil and gas leases for sale in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday was lower than any sale since 1993 for the highly productive central Gulf, according to the Associated Press.

Why This Matters: Cheap sales like this are good for the industry but they are selling our national shared assets for pennies on the dollar.

Continue Reading 458 words
Solar Power Shined Bright in 2019

Solar Power Shined Bright in 2019

Even with the Trump administration’s policy challenges and continued tariffs on solar tile imports, 40%of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. was solar, its highest share ever and more than any other source of electricity, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

Why This Matters:  Solar power is on its way now.  The total amount of solar power operating in the U.S. now exceeds 76 GW, up from just 1 GW at the end of 2009

Continue Reading 465 words