'No' to climate loans: statement by civil society groups in the global south | World Development Movement

Join us in the fight for economic justice and an end to global poverty.

'No' to climate loans: statement by civil society groups in the global south

This statement is from civil society groups from countries that have been chosen as recipients to the World Bank’s ‘Pilot Program for Climate Resilience’ (PPCR) which is being supported by the UK government. The countries include: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Tajikistan, Yemen, Zambia, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. 

Protest against World Bank loans for climate finance in Indonesia

June 2011

To Andrew Mitchell MP, UK secretary of state for international development and Chris Huhne MP, UK secretary of state for energy and climate change. 

Dear Andrew Mitchell MP and Chris Huhne MP,

The changing of the world’s climate, primarily caused by the rich industrialized countries, is already having a devastating impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities around the world. As people from countries who are the first recipients of climate loans, we are already seeing lives being destroyed. This is especially true for people from poor and marginalized social groups such as farmers, indigenous communities, women and children who are increasingly at risk of floods, droughts, rising sea-levels and disease. Hundreds of millions of people face having their livelihoods ruined as global temperatures increase. Yet these people hold no responsibility for causing climate change. This is a massive injustice. 

It is countries like the UK, through years of historical and current emissions, who hold primary responsibility for causing climate change. The UK must live up to this responsibility by giving reparations for the damage it has caused to the lives of people around the world.  

However, instead of reparations, the UK is pushing for loans for climate change through the World Bank. Climate loans will only lock our countries into further debt, and further impoverish our people. This will not provide the compensation required to enable people to cope with the impacts we are facing. Loans for climate change are not acceptable. 

We also condemn the UK’s role in pushing for the undemocratic World Bank to be in control of climate finance. All the UK's money for climate change adaptation that is going to the World Bank is currently given as capital, meaning the UK holds responsibility for loans given as climate finance. The World Bank is dominated by rich countries, and has a long history of failed projects and imposing harmful policy conditions. It is also responsible for pushing projects and policies that have caused climate change through deforestation, supporting harmful extractive industries, and providing financing for fossil fuels. Even as the World Bank is trying to remodel itself as the ‘climate bank’, it has increased its funding of fossil fuels 40 times over the last five years. The World Bank has a long history of causing more harm than good, including on climate change, and should therefore have no role in climate finance.

The actions of the UK on this issue will devalue and defame the ongoing climate funding process under the UNFCCC. The UK has also failed to make any contribution to the UN Adaptation Fund that was set up through these negotiations. This disregard for the UN process and institutions will undermine trust in the international negotiations. 

The financing of programmes and activities related to climate change adaptation and mitigation must not violate human rights and social justice. We will continue to call on our governments not to accept the climate loans.  We call on the UK to:

  • convert these climate loans into grants without any conditions attached 
  • put the UK’s future fast start finance through the UN Adaptation Fund
  • not give any more money to the World Bank. 

The UK must stop providing climate loans for adaptation, and stop pushing for the World Bank to have a role in climate finance.

Signed by:

La Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climatico, Bolivia
Centro de Comunicacion y Desarrollo Andino, Bolivia
Agua Sustentable, Bolivia
The Democracy Center, Bolivia
Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Jatiyo Sramik Jote, Bangladesh
VOICE, Bangladesh
Aid Accountability Group, Bangladesh,
Right to Food Movement, Bangladesh
Brahmmaputra Society, Bangladesh
Solidarity Workshop, Bangladesh
Sustainable Bangladesh Campaign, Bangladesh
Jatiyo Sramik Jote (trade unions), Bangladesh
Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Bangladesh
Bangladesh Youth Movement for Climate, Bangldesh
KHEMARA, Cambodia
Advocacy and Policy Institute (API), Cambodia
Indigenous Community Support Organization, Cambodia
Bridges Across Borders Cambodia, Cambodia
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Caribbean
University of the West Indies, (Dr Norman Girvan, Professor Emeritus), Caribbean
Haiti Survie, Haiti
Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development, Jamaica
Jamaica Conservation Development Trust, Jamaica
Justicia Ambiental, Mozambique
Rural Reconstruction Nepal, Nepal
Right to Food Network, Nepal
NGO Federation of Nepal
All Nepal Women’s Association, Nepal
Team for Nature and Wildlife, Nepal
Green Civil Society, Nepal
Jagaran, Nepal
Global South Initiative, Nepal
GOULBI, Niger
National Network Debt and Development, Niger
Réseau de la Jeunesse Nigérienne sur les Changements Climatiques section of African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Niger
JVE Niger - Young Volunteers for the Environment, Niger
Ole Siosiomaga Society Incorporated (OLSSI), Samoa
Civil Society Organizations Network for Development, Yemen
Central Organization Control Auditing, Yemen Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection, Zambia
Ngati Hine tribe of the Bay Of Islands, Aotearoa and a trustee of Mahinga Mataitai O Ngati Hine*
Network of the Indigenous Peoples-Solomon Islands*
Women’s Action for Change, Fiji*
Pacific Gender Climate Coalition, Cook Islands
* on behalf of the people of Polynesia

Networks:
South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE -www.saape.org)
LDC Watch (www.ldcwatch.org)
IBON and the Peoples Movement on Climate Change
Development Alternatives With Women for a New Era (DAWN)