World Bank must stop funding fossil fuels – Asian movements

The day before the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund took place in Washington DC, APMDD joined its members in the Philippines in holding a protest action, demanding the Bank to end its fossil fuel investment.

MANILA, Philippines, 11 October 2016 – The day before the annual meeting of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took place in Washington DC, the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) joined its members in the Philippines – the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), SANLAKAS and other groups – in holding a protest action last October 7 outside the W​orld B​ank office in Manila, demanding the Bank to end its fossil fuel investment.

The groups stated that the excessive use of fossil fuels,and the destruction of natural carbon sinks has led to and is intensifying the earth’s warming, and is consequently destabilizing climate systems. And with over a billion people remain poor in Asia, the groups said that Bank failed miserably in its mandate to eradicate poverty.

:We condemn the Bank’s relentless pursuit of neoliberal prescriptions,unhampered private sector-led growth, de-regularized markets and liberalized investments and trade, and support for fossil fuel-based systems,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of APMDD.

In the face of climate science and growing public awareness, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim declared that there is the need to end subsidies for fossil fuels, describing them as ‘harmful.’ “But World Bank’s fossil fuel financing rose by an additional $3.4 billion in 2014 in the form ofloans, grants, guarantees, risk management and equity for dirty energy projects in developing countries. It even invested $643 million into projects with fossil fuel explorationaspects, which only ties developing countries like the Philippines,to a future of dirty energy use.” said Erwin Puhawan, energy campaigner of Freedom from Debt Coalition.

The groups also said that the Bank raised “carbon funds” of $4.6 billion to support ‘clean coal’ technologies. “But there is no such things as ‘clean coal.’ Clearly, these ‘carbon funds’ are new funding windows for false solutions. We know for a fact that even the most efficient coal-fired power plants emit 15 times more CO2 than renewable energy systems, and twice as much CO2as gas-fired power plants.

Toxins removed and dumped in waste ponds or landfills have been known to pollute drinking water sources. They also entail huge costs that will also pass on to consumers, while affording clean energy corporations a killing in profits.” said Ian Rivera, national coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

The groups also hold the World Bank responsible for compounding the vulnerabilities and difficulties of the people with its continued support for the burning of fossil fuels.

:If the World Bank President is really serious about calling fossil fuel ‘harmful,’ why does the Bank continue to fund fossil fuel projects? Why does it allow people who are least culpable for climate change, people with limited livelihood opportunities, people with the poorest access to water, food, health services, among others, bear the heaviest burden of climate change impacts?” said Lynie Olimpo, grassroots leader of Koalisyon Pabahay Pilipinas (KPP/National Housing Coalition).

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