8th October, 2022
By Richard Elesho
The Glasgow Action Team has challenged the World Bank has to back its rhetoric on climate action by encouraging shift in investments from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources.
The Team made the call in Abuja at a press conference it addressed as part of activities to mark the 2022 World Habitat Day.
The press conference, jointly addressed by climate Activists Jonah Gbemre, Murphy Akiri and Jake Hess focused on the bank’s investment in carbon capture in Nigeria.
The stakeholders recalled that the World Bank was established to rebuild economies and rebuild wealth following the devastation of the Second World War.
They however indicated that the bank has not fully delivered on the mandate on climate action as it continues to encourage investments in dirty sources of energy.
“Since the Paris Agreement, the World Bank has provided $12 billion in direct project finance to fossil fuels projects in 35 countries, more than any other multilateral development bank, according to civil society estimates. The figure does not include billions more in support of fossil fuels through financial intermediaries, the biggest culprit being the commercial lending arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).”
After raising the concerns and observations, the team made the following recommendations:
“Stop using public money to bankroll dirty polluters. Sign the Glasgow Clean Energy statement before the next COP and leave fossil fuels in the ground. Close loopholes allowing private lenders and asset managers to continue extracting and exploiting fossil fuels.
“Align all policies, programmes and projects into a 1.5-degree roadmap with poverty alleviation at its heart. Prioritise investment in Global South renewable energy projects, with civil society input, toward publicly owned, democratically controlled systems that serve the common good instead of private profit.
“Stop hoarding reserves and mobilise $1 trillion in new, genuinely green finance. Move away from an extractive model of financing towards delivering a just transition, through investments which benefit people on the poverty line instead of the 1%. Evaluate impact through the lens of sustainability, equity and justice. Actively champion an independent body to restructure sovereign debt.
“Raise ambitions so that half of all World Bank financing is on climate adaptation and mitigation, given the scale and urgency of the crisis. Candidates for World Bank Leadership should be accountable and committed to scientific evidence.
World Habitat Day is marked on the first Monday of October.
The day is marked in different countries around the world with keynote speakers and roundtable discussions focused on a specific theme.
World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme ‘Shelter is my right’.
This year’s edition was held on 3 October, under the theme “Mind the Gap. Leave No One and No Place Behind.”