Advocates from various organizations involved in the World Bank Out of Climate Finance Campaign exposed and rejected the attempt by the US and other Annex 1 countries to turn the Green Climate Fund (GCF) into a "Greedy Corporate Fund" that would allow multinational corporations and the financial industry to directly access GCF financing.
In a rally at the Speaker's Corner in Durban, South Africa on December 1, JSAPMDD together with FOE- International, PACJA, WDM, IPS-SEEN and CRBM, demanded full transparency in the climate negotiations during the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 17 (COP 17) and warned that corporations could bypass developing country governments and their national climate strategies to get public money. The group opposed private sector participation in the GCF and any role of the World Bank in climate finance.
An effigy of a giant octopus was prominently displayed during the entire program of the rally. It represented the private sector and the part it plays in pushing the US and other Annex 1 countries to act in behalf of their interests and pursue false solutions to the climate crisis such as carbon markets and having a greater role in the GCF. To highlight the demand for climate reparations, streamers carrying this message were also strategically placed at the Speakers' Corner.
Leaders and representatives of the participating groups spoke on various issues concerning climate finance. Speaking in behalf of JSAPMDD, Willy D'Costa said that the GCF was supposed to go to developing countries to help them deal with the impact of climate change and to have green alternatives. Yet, what is happening, he said, is that the World Bank and the big corporations are hijacking the funds despite the opposition of many developing countries.
Lidy Nacpil said that the role of private investment in financing climate programs must be decided at the national and sub-national levels in line with countries' priorities and not corporate bottom lines. She also said that allowing the private sector to go directly to the GCF for money undermines the possibility of a democratic, participatory process for meeting the needs of communities struggling to fight climate change.