World Bank Involvement in Climate Financing Opposed: Stress Political Participation

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index-picDhaka 21st December 2008. Today through organizing a press conference at National Press Club, Dhaka, Equity and Justice Working Group (equitybd) has concluded its three month long campaign on sensitizing political and CSOs opinion against the involvement of the World Bank in the management of proposed Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. The campaign progaramme includes sending post cards from the grassroots level to the Chief Adviser of Bangladesh and UK Minster, organizing seminars in district and national level to sensitize CSOs and political opinion against WB involvement in the management of climate fund. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, convener EquityBD moderated the press conference while Md. Shamsuddoha presented the background paper and campaign outcomes. In this press conference the organizers claimed that they mobilized a number of international CSO organizations and think tanks in favor of their position who also organized huge campaign activities in Poznan, CoP 14 (conference of the parties) climate conference against WB’s involvement in climate financing.

Speakers apprehend a conspiracy on the finalization of MDTF under World Bank management during the tenure of this interim government. They strongly urged to put the matter, especially the preparation of ‘climate change strategy and action plan’ to the next political government. They clarified the rationale of opposing World Bank, saying that this approach will allow the World Bank imposing anti poor conditionality to the countries. Moreover World Bank is playing a hypocritical and double standard role through financing to the fossil fuel and coal fired generating electricity project which are considered as dirty projects globally. Speakers mentioned that they will continue the campaign to sensitize up-coming members of parliament and Upazila chairmen who will be aware on the issue and oppose World Bank and IFIs in climate finance.

AHM Bazlur Rahman of EquityBD and Quazi Farooque explained the campaign procedure while Mostafa Kamal Akanda delivered the welcome address. Following the UK-Bangladesh climate change conference held in London in September, 2008 EquityBD and 30 other national organizations launched this campaign as Bangladesh Finance Adviser and also UK government proposed the World Bank to manage the fund. The organizers also pointed out that initially UK government announced 60 million pound sterling for five year period while Bangladesh government proposed 45 million pound sterling from this year budget alone; the organizers claimed that GoB contribution to climate adaptation fund is quite unreasonable as Bangladesh is no way responsible for climate change. This is also against the ‘Polluter Pay Exploiter Principle’ of climate financing. Initially the campaign was initiated by 30 organizations from the country and three international networks in Asia.

Among the signatories there are around 50 organizations from the country, where prominent organizations from the countries like Uddipon, ADD, CAB, COAST, Prodipon, NCCB, Solidarity, Innovators, Vocice etc and around 35 organizations from international level these are Jubilee South – APMDD, Jubilee South Africa, SANSAD and INSAF from India, LDC Watch, SAAPE, Focus on Global South, EEPA-Belguim. In respect of individuals there are signatures of Advocate Sultana Kamal ex Adviser to the care taker government, Rashed Khan Menon of Worker’s Party, Hasanul Haque Inu of JSD, Prominent Cultural Activist Hasan Imam, Dr. Alauddin and KM Jahangir of Awami Legue, Shamsuzzaman Dudu of BNP and Golam Mortaza of Saptahiki. Around 3000 post card has been sent to both UK and Bangladesh government.

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