Climate Change Media Partnership

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For immediate release

Thursday 10 June 2010

Contact: Alex Rafalowicz, +49 1525 991 8665


BONN, Germany – Today, in response to demands by rich countries for World
Bank management of climate funds, 287 civil society organisations from over
50 countries released a letter to President Barack Obama calling for the US
to stop supporting the Bank in UN climate negotiations.

At a press conference releasing the letter, Raman Mehta from Action Aid
India said:

“The rich world needs to find money to pay the world’s poor back for the
damage they’ve caused by climate change, but just because money is needed
does not mean the World Bank is needed. The developed world owes the world’s
poor a climate debt, these people who are most vulnerable to climate change
do not need interference from an organisation that continues to fund the
pollution that causes climate change.”

“The World Bank has lent money to dirty fossil fuel projects again and
again. It is a fundamentally undemocratic institution very often used to the
detriment of sustainable development – so giving it a role in managing funds
for developing countries would see our chances of effectively and equitably
tackling climate change go up in smoke. It would be like giving your keys to
a drunk and thinking you’ll get home safely.” Karen Orenstein of Friends of
the Earth US said.

“This money should instead be managed fairly and through a democratic
process with buy-in and control from all countries. Many developing
countries at these negotiations have made clear that they don’t want the
Bank in control. Developing countries are the ones suffering the worst
impacts of climate change and must have decision making power over how funds
are channelled and used.” Illana Solomon of ActionAid US said.

Led by a coalition of development, environmental and social justice
organizations, 287 groups from 54 countries have signed the letter, calling
on President Barack Obama to use US influence in the negotiations to ensure
the World Bank does not take on a role in controlling funds for developing
countries to tackle climate change.

Some of the 287 organisations backing the letter include Friends of the
Earth International, ActionAid International, Christian Aid in the UK,
Jubilee South,, the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network of
Institute for Policy Studies, the Campagna per la Riforma della Banca
Mondiale, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and Third World Network.

The letter questions the World Bank’s track record of imposing policy
conditions and programs on developing countries and its lack of democratic

Additionally, it notes that developing countries, which will bear the
heaviest burden from climate change, are the least represented inside the

It further notes that the World Bank continues to be a top financier of
fossil fuels. As of April 2010, it had already hit a record high for annual
fossil fuel lending, with (US) $4.7 billion primarily for coal.

The letter instead calls for US support for the creation of a multilateral
climate fund under the UNFCCC that has an equitable governance structure,
prioritizes the participation of affected communities, operates with full
transparency and accountability, and provides direct access to funding.


Note to editors - A copy of the letter is available on request

Alex Rafalowicz

p.(bonn) +49 1525 9918 665
skype: alexrafalowicz
t. @climatedebtorg

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