The World Bank further elbowed its way into the climate change negotiations and infrastructure when in 2010, the 16th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the World Bank to serve as the interim trustee of its Green Climate Fund, the operating entity that will manage the financial mechanisms of the Convention.
Peoples' movements and organizations in many countries of the world, especially in the global South opposed this move, and justifiably so.
The World Bank is tainted by a history of financing projects that produce or heavily use fossil fuels. Over the past 61 years, the Bank financed 745 such projects worth $69.82 billion in 34 na-tions in the Asia Pacific region. Yet, while recog-nizing that using fossil fuels emit up to 70 per-cent of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases today, the World Bank has never explicitly owned up to its share of the current climate cri-sis and perhaps none is forthcoming.
Photo courtesy of The Mindanao Examiner
Robust mandates already exist to conclude negotiations covering 100% of global emissions. In Bali, in 2007, the world agreed to a negotiating roadmap that consisted of three essential pillars: a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for developed countries; a compromise for the United States; as well as developing country action backed by finance, technology and capacity building.
It’s a planetary and humanitarian emergency… The world is already reeling from major humanitarian emergencies exacerbated by climate change: floods in Thailand and Pakistan, landslides from extreme rains in many Latin American countries, and the multi-year drought in the Horn of Africa that threatens the lives of millions.
Current levels of warming have already begun triggering major “tipping points” in the Earth’s system – such as Arctic methane releases, Amazon dieback, and the loss of icesheets. 2°C of warming, as proposed by some governments, threatens to tip a cascade of events that will cause warming to spin out of control. We have known since 1986 that warming “beyond 1°C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage”, the effects of which we’re seeing already.