350.org urges World Bank & IMF to deliver climate justice

Civil society groups call for accountability for climate finance



April 19, 2024

/ By / Paris

350.org urges World Bank & IMF to deliver climate justice

A global week of Climate Justice Finance Mobilisations kicked off on April 16 under the banner ‘#FixTheFinance’

As the global financial leaders gathered in Washington DC for the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, civil society groups have called upon the financial institutions to deliver on climate finance.

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As world leaders convened in Washington this week for the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings, civil society organisations have called for urgent action to fix the world’s broken financial systems that are responsible for climate breakdown and entrenching inequality. To solve the climate crisis that is pushing our planet to the brink, they say, we need to fix the world’s financial flows.

According to a press statement, a global week of Climate Justice Finance Mobilisations kicked off on April 16 under the banner ‘#FixTheFinance’, to hold governments, UN climate talks, private banks, the IMF, the World Bank and multilateral development banks, those that hold the purse strings, to account.

Andreas Sieber

Andreas Sieber

‘‘The climate crisis is now at a critical juncture. The renewable-powered world has never been closer to our grasp: investment into renewables is at an all-time high. But we need to take it to the next level, and to finally leave fossil fuels firmly behind. Last year, the annual UN climate talks reached a momentous agreement: a global renewable energy target, calling for the tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling of energy efficiency gains by 2030. While significant, without the funds to operationalise it, it will remain a dream, an agreement in words only. We need finance to put it into action,’’ says Andreas Sieber, Associate Director for Global Policy and Campaigns, 350.org.

‘‘We must address the immense injustice of the global financial system, with developing countries bearing the brunt of climate impacts without having contributed to it, and rich countries discarding accountability. It’s time for rich countries to direct finance into renewable energy in the Global South and to play their part in fixing the system. 2024 is the year to make this happen,’’ adds Sieber.

“Funding fossil fuels is equal to financing our planet’s death and robbing young people of their future. Any bank that prioritises profits over the wellbeing of our planet is funding a disaster that disproportionately affects people in the global South, especially women and youth.  As young people, we are witnessing firsthand the toll of the climate crisis on our lives and prospects. When floods and landslides ravage our lands, our livelihoods are swept away, leaving us destitute. It is high time financial institutions divested from destruction and started investing in our future,’’ says Happy Itros, young climate activist, Global Platform, Tanzania.

‘‘Investing in sustainable alternatives for young people is not just a matter of environmental urgency, it is an investment in the future prosperity of our planet. By funding projects like renewable energy and agroecology instead of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture, we empower the next generation to combat the climate crisis head-on.

Eric Njuguna

Eric Njuguna

Young people deserve a present and a future that is far brighter than the one we are currently hurtling towards,’’ Itros adds.

“We must dismantle the neo-colonial and neoliberal dynamics in the world bank and the IMF.  These institutions must stop funding fossil fuels, cancel debts, put an end to austerity and reorient financing towards helping countries achieve a green energy transition rooted in energy and food sovereignty,” says Eric Njuguna, youth climate justice organiser, Fridays for Future.

The statement adds that by imposing conditionalities like privatisation and austerity, Bretton Woods institutions make it impossible for people to access basic human rights like healthcare, education and energy further exacerbating inequality. Multilateral development banks must work for and be accountable to the people.

Lidy Nacpil

Lidy Nacpil

“While these meetings of the IMF and World Bank are happening, a worsening debt crisis is crushing developing countries across the world. This dire situation is proof of the flawed and futile debt relief schemes of the G20 that the IMF and World Bank avidly support and promote. For eight decades, the IMF-WB has been instrumental in shaping an international financial architecture that systematically extracts the wealth of the Global South, perpetuating a cycle of indebtedness, poverty, and environmental degradation. Then and now, they are major actors in exacerbating both the climate and debt crisis, as they persist in fossil fuel lending and in pushing more loans for climate action,’’ says Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development.

“We call out the hypocrisy of the IMF and World Bank in pushing for debt relief measures when they exempt themselves from participating in those very schemes to protect their credit ratings. They have not lifted a finger to compel the participation of commercial and private lenders in public debt reduction, knowing the heavy burden that this represents for developing countries. They have also never owed up to their responsibility for the damaging impacts of their loans, from propping up corrupt, repressive regimes and violating human rights to fueling the climate emergency,’’ adds Nacpil.



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