Dec 02, 2011
Today we were calling on rich country negotiators, particularly the US, UK and Japan, to keep corporations out of the Green Climate Fund.
Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society, speaks in front of the giant octopus at the climate finance rally.
The day started with the issuing of a letter exposing an attempt led by the US, the UK and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a “Greedy Corporate Fund”. The letter was signed by 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries and included Friends of the Earth International.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) 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 developed countries are trying to allow multinational corporations and financiers to directly access GCF financing.
Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth US gave her take on the situation:
"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."
A demonstrator likens the plans for the Green Climate Fund as an attempt to turn it into a 'Greedy Corporate Fund'.
In the afternoon the protest was a more vocal affair as people descended on Speakers Corner, with the help of a giant octopus symbolising the fact that Wall Street, the World Bank and multinational corporations have their tentacles all over climate finance.
Several speakers addressed the crowd to talk about the dirty energy being produced in their country's and the need for urgent investment in renewable energy.
In Kosovo, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, South Africa and Brazil the story was the same - the World Bank continues to fund dirty energy.
From the Bank's relationship with South Africa - it's latest US$ 3.75 billion loan is helping to build one of the world’s largest coal plants - to its forays in Kosovo - where it is urging the government to invest in coal despite studies highlighting the fact that Kosovo could meet all its energy needs with renewable energy - the World Bank can't get enough of coal.
Lisa, a midwife from the US, summed up the feelings of many people in the crowd as she pointed to the conference centre:
"They are the 1% creating debt and poverty…I am a midwife and I don't feel safe bringing children into the world whilst the World Bank is in charge" she said.