No to the Double Burden: The Burden of Debt and Climate Catastrophes

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December 8th, 2010. Today in a press conference held at Luna Hall, Moon Hotel where UNFCCC CoP 16 is being held, more than 200 civil society organizations urged global leaders not to give any role to the World Bank in climate finance; they have launched a global campaign on “World Bank of Out Climate Finance” and released a signed letter. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, while four others in mute, making a tap as written UNFCCC in mouth, as a symbol of protest, they are Ms.Dorothy from Focus on Global South, Philippines, Ms. Kate from World Development Movement, UK, Ms. Elena from CRBM, Italy and Mr. Luca from Friends of the Earth.

The only speaker and moderator give explanation that why four others were mute, is as a sign of protest to the UNFCCC process where civil society hardly any space to reflect decent voice and protest, and it is also symbol of protest against the Mexican government deliberate attempt to keep civil society 50 km far from the conference place, prevented the protestor especially La Via Campesina, who has been prevented to come and protest in the conference nearby. Mr. Reza explain four reasons that why the World bank should not be given any role in climate finance, i.e., (i) World Bank maintain double standard, still it is investing highest money in fossil fuel projects which are the major cause of climate catastrophes, (ii) the Bank maintain anti poor conditionality in developing countries like privatization and commercialization of essential services, e.g., health, education, water and power etc, (iii) the Bank management has oligarchic decision making process, that only the develop countries i.e., the highest carbon polluters has the majority share to take decision, and finally (iv) it is a Bank take sides to multinationals and for market based solutions. During question and answers Mr. Reza mentioned that, UK government has already given 650 millions pound sterling to World Bank to give loan for climate adaptation to the country like Bangladesh, Niger and Kyrgyzstan. Worst climate impact already is already happening Bangladesh, and loosing its 1 % GDP, but it has very little responsible for carbon emission, its people has already per capita debt of $ 150, for each of the $ loan it is paying 3 $ to the world Bank, so the country like Bangladesh and other least develop countries should not be imposed with both climate and debt burden.

Earlier in the morning a rally was leaded by the activist from Friends of the Earth, Jubilee South, La Via Campesina, Attack France, 350.org and Grass Root International and several other local organization was marched from Palacio Municipality and came in the Km Zero of down town Cancun, and they have smashed a Pinyata (a pig effigy of World Bank). The rally was spoken by Hemantha from Sri Lanka, Earl from Canada, Carolina from El Salvador, Elisa from La Via Campesina, Beverly from Jubilee South, Primo from FDC. There were thousands of protestors participated in the rally, there were huge contingent of police, para military forces, helicopter in the sky watching the rally and prevented to proceed toward conference premise.

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