Greening Aid? Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance

Author(s)

Robert L. Hicks, Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts, Michael J. Tierney

Abstract

From the first Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972 to the G8 Gleneagles meeting in 2005, the issue of the impact of aid on the global environment has been the subject of vigorous protest and debate. How much progress has there been in improving environmental protection and clean-up in the developing world? What explains the patterns of environmental aid spending and distribution - is it designed to address real problems, achieve geopolitical or commercial gains abroad, or buy political mileage at home? And what are the consequences for the estimated 4 million people that die each year from air pollution, unsafe drinking water, and lack of sanitation? All of these questions and many more are addressed in this groundbreaking text, which is based on the authors' work compiling the most comprehensive dataset of foreign aid ever assembled. By evaluating the likely environment impact of over 400,000 development projects by more than 50 donors to over 170 recipient nations between 1970 and 2001, Greening Aid represents a unique, state of the art picture of what is happening in foreign assistance, and its impact on the environment. Greening Aid explains major trends and shifts over the last three decades, ranks donors according to their performance, and offers case studies which compare and contrast donors and types of environmental aid.

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