Activists called for a "fundamental departure from the current global order" to address the climate crisis. Over 170 participants, including fisherfolk, farmers, indigenous peoples, women, youth and activists from 31 countries attended the 3-day Bangkok conference in July, which was organised by Focus on the Global South.
"By climate justice, we mean that the burden of adjustment to the climate crisis must be borne by those who have created it, and not by those who have been least responsible" said a conference document.1
The conference heard that industrialised countries have been responsible for about 90% of greenhouse gas emissions, but that 99% of the risks of climate change are being shouldered by people in developing countries.
Participants expressed their frustration at how those dominating the climate discussions so far - governments and corporations - have failed to address the causes of climate change. The groups called on governments to address overconsumption in developed countries and among developing country elites.
The groups reached a consensus on their opposition to carbon trading and offset schemes, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)2 and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)3 initiatives, which "allow polluters to buy their way out of reducing emissions".
They also said that industrialised agrofuels, megadams and nuclear power were false solutions would could worsen the climate crisis and deepen global inequality.
The World Bank's Board approved two proposed climate investment funds - the umbrella Strategic Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund - on July 1st, amid international criticism from CSOs.5
G8 members have pledged approximately US$6 billion as an ODA contribution to the funds. In a statement on climate change issued at Hokkaido, the G8 said they encouraged REDD and that the private sector would be the main source of funding to address climate change. Despite recent evidence highlighting how emissions trading regimes have failed to deliver cuts, the G8 also recognised the role of the market, including emissions trading within and between countries, as helping to reduce emissions in a 'cost-effective manner'.6
CSOs and some governments have argued that climate funds should be housed in a body managed by the UNFCCC.7 They have also queried what is meant by 'clean technology'. In early June, over 120 civil society groups issued a statement during the UNFCCC meeting in Germany, stating that the World Bank needs to define the term. According to Kenny Bruno, International Program Director for Oil Change International, one of the signatory groups, "What they are really proposing is a 'slightly less dirty' technology fund, which will include financing of coal plants that are somewhat less polluting than the dirtiest plants out there." 8
The Bank's private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has increased lending for fossil fuel projects by a whopping 165% during July 2007-June 2008. The World Bank itself, decreased its commitment to such projects, but overall the World Bank Group increased lending by 60% in the same period.10 This is despite recommendations by the Extractive Industries Review that lending for coal and oil projects should be ended.
|IFC financial year||Project name||Major sector||Primary Activity||Amount||Approval Date|
|Jul 07-Jun 08||Salamander Energy Plc.||Oil and gas||off shore production, wells, pipeline, gas processing plant||75m||6-Jun-08|
|Jul 06-Jun 07||PGN Investments||Gas||Infrastructure (dist., expansion)||50m||05-Sep-06||Fossil fuel-based power generation|
|Jul 06 - Jun -7||PT Makmur Sejahtera Wisesa||fossil fuel-based power generation||coal fired plant||121.8m||21-Jun-07|
1 Press Release, 16/Jul/08. For more information go to the Climate Justice Now! website at focusweb.org/climatechange/
2 See DTE 71 CDM box and DTE 69
3 See DTE 76-77 and DTE 74.
4 Reaction from Indonesia, Philippines, Canada, Benin, Uganda, South Africa and Japan 8/Jul/08.
5 World Bank press release 1/Jul/08. See also DTE 76-77- for further background on these funds.
6 G8 statement on Environment and Climate Change at www.g8.utoronto.ca/summit/2008hokkaido/2008-climate.html
7 See DTE 76-77
8 BIC Update 23/Jul/08, www.bicusa.org/en/Article.3840.aspx
9 Avoiding Deforestation and Degradation: Walking the tightrope to success, May 2008 Climate Change and Forests Briefing Note by Richard Wainwright.
10 BIC, as in 8.
11 INFIDS's Short News Overview 27/Jun/08.