Because of the UK’s policies, some of the world’s poorest countries are due to be saddled with $1.1 billion in additional debt.
Rich countries, led by the UK, have set up a climate fund, managed by the World Bank, outside of the UN process. The fund lacks legitimacy, transparency and, worst of all, forces poor countries to accept loans so they can deal with the effects of climate change, a problem they are not responsible for causing.
Over the course of this year, decisions will be made on new climate loans to some of the world’s poorest countries. The UK is at the forefront of making the fund give loans, rather than grants.
Protest this anyway you can whether through organizing or, if you can, in your individual capacity. This is criminal to force these poor countries to take on more loan to fight climate change that was mostly brought about by pollution caused by the same rich countries that will benefit from these loans.
A message from Bangladesh
One of our allies in Bangladesh, Ahmed Swapan, sent us this message to share with you.
My name is Ahmed Swapan and I am writing from VOICE in Bangladesh to ask you to take action in solidarity with us on the issue of unfair climate loans – loans which are supposed to help countries deal with climate change. These loans are being pushed by the World Bank with the support of the UK government.
In Bangladesh we are already seeing people’s lives and livelihoods being destroyed by the impacts of climate change, such as floods, crop failures and increased disease. Rich industrialised countries are responsible for the climate crisis, and they should be paying compensation for the damage they have caused. However, rather than doing this, the UK is pushing climate loans on Bangladesh, and other already indebted countries, via the undemocratic World Bank. These loans will only increase our already huge debt burden, and repaying them will take money away from other vital areas, like health and education.
In Bangladesh, we’re calling on our government to reject these loans and to resist the discredited World Bank; an institution which is responsible for worsening the climate crisis through its continued funding for fossil fuels, from having a role in the new green climate fund.
Please support our struggle by sending an email to your energy and climate change minister to let him know that by supporting World Bank climate loans, the UK government will not only increase poverty and injustice, but will also risk undermining international negotiations on climate change.