World Bank ongoing work to develop a strategy on climate change and environmental threats has been criticized for (i) lacking of a proper overall vision and purpose, (ii) having a limited focus on its own role in global and regional governance, and (iii) having limited recognition of specific regional issues, e.g. issues of rights to food and land, and sustainable land use. Critics have also commented that only 1% of the World Bank's lending goes to the environmental sector, narrowly defined.
Environmentalists are urging the Bank to stop worldwide support for the development of coal plants and other large emitters of greenhouse gas and operations that are proven to pollute or damage the environment. For instance, protesters in South Africa and abroad have criticized the 2010 decision of the World Bank's approval for a $3.75 billion loan to build the world's 4th largest coal-fired power plant in South Africa. The plant will greatly increase the demand for coal mining and corresponding harmful environmental effects of coal.