March to keep World Bank out of climate finance

DATE: Wednesday, Dec 8th
TIME: gather 9:30am, march at 10am
LOCATION: rally and march leaving from Palacio Municipal (Cancun, Mexico)
Rally will be MCed by Ricardo Navarro – Friends of the Earth El Salvador, Beverly Keene – Jubilee South Americas, Primo Rivera-Freedom From Debt Coalition and feature speakers from World Bank-affected communities from around the world.

We march to 0KM and return to the Muncipal Hall by 11:30am where we will smash a giant pinata pig representing the World Bank!

Cancun: Anger grows at World Bank role in climate finance

CANCUN, MEXICO – As talks on long term climate finance for developing countries heat up today in Cancun, campaigners from around the world condemned rich countries’ efforts to carve out a special role for the World Bank in managing these funds.

Campaigners are furious that the World Bank is being promoted as the hub for climate finance. They insist that because the institution continues to bankroll dirty fossil fuel projects to the tune of $6.6 billion last year alone – they are in the wrong hands for the funds to fight climate change. They also cite the Bank’s recent history of imposing climate finance as loans, creating new debt for already impoverished countries, increasing the role of the private sector and imposing economic policy conditions that increase inequality.

The coalition of diverse groups from developed and developing countries launched a new campaign ‘World Bank our of climate finance’ today calling on governments to resist any role for the institution in climate finance. They are particularly angry that in an early draft of the negotiating text, the World Bank has been invited to serve as the interim trustee of a new global climate fund – and potentially its secretariat.

In response, 200 organisations from around the world, including Jubilee South, Friends of the Earth International and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance have signed an open letter to governments at the Cancun negotiations stating that the nature, structure, track record, and policies of the World Bank and other development banks contradict what should be the principles of fair and effective climate finance.

Ian Rivera, from Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) – Philippines said:
“It’s outrageous that the World Bank is being forced on to developing countries. Peoples of developing countries do not want to work with the World Bank in order to access much needed climate finance. Based on bitter experience, they know that the World Bank will increase their debts and poverty and will undermine their human rights and their independence. That’s why we have launched a new campaign to stop the World Bank being imposed on developing countries who need climate finance to cope with climate change.”

Campaigners are also angry that they are not being allowed to campaign against the World Bank inside the UN talks. They have been told that permission will not be granted for any protest that mentions the World Bank, so they are being forced to march and protest away from the conference centre.

Muhammad Reza, from KRUHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water)-Indonesia said: “We are not allowed to even whisper the World Bank’s name in a negative context within the UN. This is silencing civil society in a space where civil society’s voice must be heard and must be listened to.”

The UK government is believed to be playing a key role in pushing for the World Bank to take the role of climate finance manager, and provides over 80 per cent of its climate finance through the World Bank, with 60 per cent as loans to developing countries.

Kirsty Wright, from the World Development Movement said: “Donor countries, in particular the UK, are unfairly pushing for climate finance to be channelled as loans through the World Bank. Rich countries are undemocratically imposing the World Bank into these talks. The current negotiating text goes further than the Copenhagen Accord, by specifically inviting the World Bank to become the manager of climate finance. The World Bank cannot be trusted with climate finance given that it is a leader in investing in fossil fuel projects, like coal power stations. It’s absolutely disgraceful, and we will resist this strongly together with our allies from around the world.”

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