COP27: experts challenge the World Bank on climate change

A team of climate change experts under the auspices of the Glasgow Action Team demanded a change in action and composition of the World Bank’s investment leadership in dummy/short-term climate solutions like carbon capture and storage in Nigeria.

They spoke on Tuesday during a virtual meeting as part of World Habitat Day 2022 commemoration activities.

The trio of climate activists, Jonah Gbemre, Murphy Akiri and Jake Hess, who jointly addressed the virtual press conference, said it was important the world maintained their call for system change at the World Bank , in particular on climate change.

Daily Trust reports that the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, would be held from November 6-18, 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

According to them, this year’s World Habitat Day aims to draw attention to the growing inequalities and vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by triple ‘C’ crises including COVID-19, climate and conflict, or the need for the World Bank to move from rhetoric to action and reform its climate policy.

“The World Bank’s failure to address climate change is the latest challenge the Bank has failed to meet the needs of low-income countries. Since the Paris Agreement, the World Bank has provided $12 billion in direct project financing for fossil fuel projects in 35 countries, more than any other multilateral development bank.

“The figure does not include the additional billions in favor of fossil fuels through financial intermediaries, the biggest culprit being the World Bank’s commercial lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“The false narrative that fossil fuels will bring prosperity is a harmful distraction from the real demands of citizens of the South, especially Africans, for clean, community-based energy,” they said.

They said the bulk of the World Bank’s lending and other program portfolios remain immune from legal action, just like the IMF, meaning its contradictions are not held accountable.

“For example, he continues to invest in fossil fuels that cause climate change, while investing to try to solve the problems caused by climate change, such as investing $10 million to reverse the degradation of the lake. Chad,” they said.

“In Nigeria, a current major concern is that the Bank has announced funding for carbon capture and storage, a controversial and unproven technology that claims to store carbon underground, to ‘help Nigeria achieve its targets for emissions”, despite criticism that this techno-solution reinforces dependence on fossil fuels.

They recalled that in his speech at the last UN climate talks, President Buhari announced that Nigeria would become net zero by 2060, saying that “the government is looking for partners, technologies and funding to make cleaner and more efficient use of all available resources for a more stable transition in energy markets”.

They also noted that Nigeria, as a major oil producer, wants to prolong the status quo as much as possible.

Teresa H. Sadler