Brussels, 8th December 2010 – Activists gathered today outside the World Bank office in Brussels, and invited members of the public to hit a World Bank “Piñata” in the shape of a piggy bank, to oppose World Bank involvement in climate finance. The action, which took place during the second week of the UN climate change negotiations, demanded that all money to fight climate change should go through the United Nations, not the World Bank or any other multilateral development banks. The decision to establish a global climate fund under authority of the UN should be adopted at the climate negotiations currently taking place in Cancún.
In a press conference sponsored by the Freedom from Debt Coalition, Jubilee South, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and the NGO Forum on the ADB, various civil society groups from the South voiced their reasons for rejecting any role for the World Bank and regional development banks such as the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
“We have directly experienced the consequences of the World Bank’s loans, loan-financed projects and policy conditionalities. It is inconceivable to us how this institution can be entrusted with climate finance” said Abdul Awal of SUPRO, a network of grassroots organizations in Bangladesh and a member of Jubilee South. “In Bangladesh, we waged a nationwide campaign rejecting any role for the World Bank in our national climate finance trust funds.”
Mithika Mwenda pf the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance adds, “The World Bank has spent billions of dollars financing fossil fuel projects these last 40 years. Clearly, it shares a major responsibility in causing the climate crisis.”
“Climate finance must not be given in the form of loans or other debt creating instruments. It is already a grave injustice that peoples of the South bear the brunt of the impacts of a crisis they had no part in creating. It is even a grave injustice that they are made to pay for the cost of dealig with these impacts” states Lidy Nacpil begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting of the Freedom from Debt Coalition-Philippines, a member of Jubilee South. “The World Bank serving as either source or channel for climate finance means a signifcant amount of these funds will flow as loans.
Miguel Borba de Sa of Jubilee South Americas adds “The World Bank has been promoting a “development” paradigm that has led to the problem of global warming and climate change. It has also been promoting false solutions to the climate crisis which only paves the way for generating more profits for global elites and transnational corporations.”
The groups declared that there will be vigorous campaigns worldwide in the next months to counter the World Banks expanding role in climate.