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IFC says global warming still on agenda

BEIJING, October 31 – The World Bank\’s private-sector investment arm said Friday that climate change remained on the agenda despite the turmoil currently afflicting global financial markets.

"We need to think about both the short term… but also about the long term, future generations," Lars Thunell, executive vice president of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), told a briefing in Beijing.

He said that climate change "will continue to be on the top of everybody\’s agenda, and should be."

Thunell was in Beijing for a ceremony to mark local lender Industrial Bank\’s adoption of the Equator Principles, a set of guidelines requiring banks to take into account the social and environmental impact of projects they finance.

"There is a financial tsunami going across the world right now, and we are of course trying to see how we can support the financial institutions in China and abroad," said Thunell.

"In these times of financial distress very often the poor people get hurt the most."

One of the ways the IFC would seek to help the poor was to promote micro-financing, he said, which helps grassroots entrepreneurs start up small businesses, such as repair shops, with a limited amount of capital.


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