Mortgaging the Earth

The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment, and the Crisis of Development

  • Bruce Rich

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Bruce Rich
    Pages 1-24
  3. Bruce Rich
    Pages 25-48
  4. Bruce Rich
    Pages 49-80
  5. Bruce Rich
    Pages 81-106
  6. Bruce Rich
    Pages 107-147
  7. Bruce Rich
    Pages 148-181
  8. Bruce Rich
    Pages 182-199
  9. Bruce Rich
    Pages 242-280
  10. Bruce Rich
    Pages 281-318
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 319-376

About this book


The 1992 Rio Earth Summit was supposed to be a turning point for the World Bank. Environmental concerns would now play a major role in its lending—programs and projects would go beyond economic development to “sustainable development.” More than two decades later, efforts to green the bank seem pallid.

Bruce Rich argues that the Bank’s current institutional problems are extensions of flaws that had been present since its founding. His new book, Foreclosing the Future, tells the story of the Bank from the Rio Earth Summit to today. For readers who want the full history of the Bank’s environmental record, Rich’s acclaimed 1994 critique, Mortgaging the Earth, is an essential companion.

Called a “detailed and thought-provoking look at an important subject” by The New York TimesMortgaging the Earth analyzes the twenty year period leading up the Rio Summit. Rich offers not only an important history but critical insights about economic development that are ever-more relevant today.


Climate change Corruption Dam International development World Bank

Authors and affiliations

  • Bruce Rich
    • 1
  1. 1.The Environmental Law InstituteWashington District of ColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information