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World Bank climate protests

Social movements from around the world to protest World Bank fuelling climate chaos and debt crisis during Annual Meetings
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
World Bank Funds Climate Chaos 2022 protest, Copyright Associated Press

Main image copyright Associated Press

This week (09-13 October), activists with the Glasgow Actions Team, coordinating with civil society groups from across the globe, will be calling on the World Bank Group and its shareholders to take bold steps on the climate crisis by ending fossil fuel investments, canceling debt in developing countries and funding clean energy and justice investments.

The events will take place during the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Marrakech, Morocco.

These are the first World Bank meetings run by new World Bank President Ajay Banga.

A new vision for the World Bank?

The theme for the Annual Meetings will be Global Action, Global Impact. Banga took over after former president David Malpass sparked outrage for denying human-caused climate change.

Banga was selected largely due to his experience mobilising resources to address climate change and has stated frequently that he expects the World Bank to adopt a new vision statement, with climate change among its primary directives.  

‘I think the twin goals have to change to being the elimination of poverty’, Banga said, ‘but on a liveable planet. And liveable planet allows me to include climate.’

A just transition

The Annual Meetings will be Banga’s first major opportunity to make the World Bank be a leader on climate.

Concerned citizens from around the globe will be protesting throughout the week to spotlight this demand, calling for an end to fossil fuel finance.

They’ll also be calling for an overall reform to Bretton Woods institutions to prioritise justice, helping finance developing countries to follow a 1.5ºC degree roadmap with poverty alleviation at its heart.

‘Ajay Banga said he wants a liveable planet and we completely agree. And we’re glad to hear of his plans to commit more funding to the climate crisis.

‘But addressing this crisis is about more than a simple vision statement.

‘In a year of climate emergencies worldwide, and when clean energy is cheaper than ever, it’s inexcusable to keep funding new oil and gas projects. We are looking for a clear commitment to end all funding for new fossil fuels.

‘We also hope he can unlock the financing needed to spark a just energy transition across the world and especially the Global South.’

Director of Glasgow Actions Team

A new report recently found that the World Bank could unlock nearly $190 billion in additional funding for developing countries without impacting the organisation’s credit rating.

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