The World Bank Out of Climate Finance coalition issued the statement below on December 1 from Durban, South Africa.
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Today, 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries released a letter exposing an attempt led by the US, Britain and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a “Greedy Corporate Fund” at UN climate talks in South Africa.
The Green Climate Fund was created to support people in developing countries — people who are the most affected by the climate crisis but are the least responsible for it.
But at the climate negotiations this week, developed countries are trying to allow multinational corporations and financiers to directly access Green Climate Fund financing.
This means companies could bypass developing country governments and their national climate strategies to get to public money.
“Turning the Green Climate Fund into a Greedy Corporate Fund would be shameful, yet this is what is being attempted at the Durban climate talks,” said Meena Raman from Third World Network.
Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth US said: “Led by the US and the UK on behalf of Wall Street and The City, this attempt to hijack developing countries’ funding is outrageous.
“Communities need this money to address climate change and to finance their own development — without repeating the same mistakes that the rich countries have made.”
Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development said: “The role of private investment in financing climate activities must be decided at the national and sub-national levels in line with countries’ priorities, not corporate bottom lines.
“The move to allow the private sector to go directly to the Green Climate Fund for money undermines the possibility of a democratic, participatory process for meeting the needs of communities struggling to fight climate change.”
Few adaptation measures in developing countries will be attractive to the private sector, as they will not generate revenue. Some key mitigation programs may also not be financially lucrative.
Groups also warned against closed-door negotiations on the Green Climate Fund by South Africa, the US and other developed countries.
Bobby Peek of groundwork/Friends of the Earth South Africa said: “Whatever happens in Durban must be fully transparent. We are deeply concerned by reports that South Africa is informally consulting behind closed doors on the Green Climate Fund decision.
“This will greatly undermine the legitimacy, and ultimately the effectiveness, of the Green Climate Fund.”
The concerns expressed in the letter come on top of the long-held rejection by many in civil society of any role for the World Bank in the Green Climate Fund.