netherlands: raising the alarm about world bank climate investment funds
These funds are intended, in theory, to support the development of clean, climate-friendly technologies. But there are serious concerns about how they were developed and what their actual impacts will be.
The development of the CIF funds bypassed international negotiations on climate change taking place within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developing countries and civil society were also excluded from the early stages of the process. And CIF funds could be even used for fossil fuel projects such as coal power stations. Despite this, the Dutch Government plans to provide substantial funding from resources earmarked for renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands / Milieudefensie organized a range of advocacy activities targeting the Dutch government:
- They wrote to the Minister of Finance and the Dutch Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs prior to the World Bank Spring Meeting in April.
- They published an opinion article in Financieel Dagblad, a Dutch financial newspaper.
- They discussed concerns with the Dutch Executive Director of the World Bank Group at a meeting organized by NGO Both Ends.
- They shared information with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- They supplied questions on the Climate Investment Funds for Members of Parliament to put to the government.
FoE Netherlands also took part in public consultations and a conference co-organized by the World Bank, and used these opportunities to share its view on the World Bank’s involvement in climate-threatening fossil fuel projects.
FoE Netherlands also worked with Both Ends to publicize concerns about the European Investment Bank’s climate policy, and talked to Dutch private banks ING, Fortis, Rabobank and ASN Bank about their willingness to measure, publish and reduce the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios.
The Dutch government’s contribution to Climate Investment Funds will not now be used for funding fossil fuel projects – a victory for FoE Netherlands’ campaign.
FoE Netherlands’ work with the Dutch private banks’ corporate sustainability departments has also created a base for further discussions.
FoE Netherlands will monitor developments relating to the Climate Investment Funds and the Dutch government’s role in it.
They will also continue to lobby international financial institutions and private banks to take responsibility for their indirect emissions.
FoE Netherlands is joining with Oxfam Novib to launch a consumer guide and website to raise awareness about Dutch banks’ social and environmental policies.
with thanks to our funders: the dutch ministry of foreign affairs (dgis)