CANCUN, MEXICO, 8 December 2010 – World Bank President Robert Zoellick is coming to the climate negotiations in Cancun today to announce the establishment of a multi-million dollar fund to promote the creation of carbon markets in developing countries. Friends of the Earth International strongly opposes carbon markets and the perverse role of the World Bank in climate change and carbon trading.

Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth US, said: “Carbon markets are an irreparably flawed means of addressing climate change. They are unreliable and subject to fraud, and they open the door to offset loopholes that undermine environmental integrity. They further entrench the economic arrangements that facilitate the North’s over-consumption and have landed us in this climate crisis in the first place.”

Siziwe Khanyile, Friends of the Earth South Africa, said: “The World Bank is a major climate polluter through its funding of oil, coal and gas projects in the global south and has wreaked havoc on the planet’s forests and trampled on human and environmental rights throughout the developing world. It is past time for the World Bank to get out of climate finance and to once and for all stop filling its coffers by investing in false solutions like carbon trading.”

Friends of the Earth International believes that developing countries are not helped by the creation of their own carbon markets. Examples in developed countries have clearly shown that offsetting is not a solution to climate change. Carbon offsetting only benefits carbon traders, like the World Bank, who profit enormously from the expansion of carbon markets. The only way to tackle climate change is to radically reduce our consumption, emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in developed countries.

A global climate fund under the full authority of the UNFCCC must be established in Cancun with no role whatsoever for the World Bank and other multilateral development banks. Public finance commensurate with what justice and equity demand must be deposited by developed countries into this fund.

Friends of the Earth International is today joining social movements and civil society from around the world to demand that the World Bank stay out of climate finance, and signed on to an open letter to the governments now meeting in Cancun, calling on them to ensure that new and additional public resources for climate finance are made available and that a Global Climate Fund under the authority of the UNFCCC will be set up, with no role for the World Bank.

Karen Orenstein, + 52 (1) 998 1431414 (Mexican mobile),

Siziwe Khanyile, +52 (1) 998 108 03 42 (Mexican mobile),