World Bank may use PPP for “dirty energy,” debt watchdog warns

MANILA, Philippines – World Bank should inhibit from managing whatever global funds the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will create, the Freedom from Debt Coalition said.

In a mobilization conducted in front of the World Bank today, FDC said that the World Bank has no right to serve as a trustee for global climate funds because of its “long history of climate change-inducing projects like coal and other fossil-based energy projects” that removed the banks’ “ascendancy and credibility it supposedly have in dealing with climate change.”

Said protest is part of the 12 Days of Action for Climate Justice led by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), and is part of an internationally-coordinated protest actions led by Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) against the World Bank’s climate role.

“They (World Bank) just have to back-off from any climate deal. They cannot be trusted. We cannot afford to ruin the COP16 negotiations just because the United States insists on putting a distrusted bank in charge of public funds for climate,” FDC President Ric Reyes said.

The United States earlier submitted a proposal to the United Nations that proposes World Bank to take charge of a $100-billion annual fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation, citing World Bank’s role in facilitating Global Environment Fund (GEF).

Climate Justice

“The World Bank’s presence in the negotiating texts dim our prospects from a achieving a global agreement that is aligned to a call for climate justice,” Reyes said.

According to FDC, social movements around the world have long called for “climate justice,” which FDC defined as “the realization of developing countries’ call for reparations from rich, developed countries which are the ones guilty in warming the planet due to their carbon-intensive industrialization.”

“If we aspire to achieve climate justice, then let us not allow World Bank to have control over the management of the global climate fund,” Reyes added.

PPP for “Dirty Energy”

The debt-watchdog also conducted a Visayas-wide “strike” against World Bank’s support for coal power plants and other “dirty” energy projects.

FDC Chapters in Negros, Iloilo and Cebu, spanning areas from Western to Central Visayas, conducted simultaneous mass actions, ranging from picket on provincial board sessions to protest activities to oppose a coal-fired power plant.

“We fear that with the Aquino administration stating open and unequivocal support for Public Private Partnerships (PPP), the World Bank may yet again find another venue to use in financing anti-development and anti-climate projects, like what they did in Calaca and Masinloc,” Reyes said.

The World Bank co-financed the Masinloc and Calaca coal-fired power plants which the Bank considered “clean and sustainable.”

“PPP will surely be used as an excuse to step up the construction of coal-fired plants in the provinces. In Naga, Cebu for example, we have the plant being constructed by Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Salcon Power Corporation being opposed by communities due to the hazardous nature of the coal ash the plant will emit,” Reyes said.

Joining FDC were groups like Visayas for Renewable Energy, Save Mt. Kanlaon Coalition, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center - Friends of the Earth - Philippines in the activities. -30-

FDC Chapters