This was the rallying cry that echoed around speakers corner today. Activists from across the globe demanded that the World Bank get out of climate finance. Speakers demanded climate justice. They demanded that developed nations pay their climate debt. They renamed the Green Climate Fund the Greedy Corporate Fund.

The World Bank Out of Climate Finance coalition issued the following press release:

 DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, Dec. 1, 2011— Today 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries released a letter exposing an attempt  led by the US, the UK and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a  “Greedy Corporate Fund” at UN climate talks in South Africa. [1]

The Green Climate Fund was created to support people in developing countries – people who are the most affected by the climate crisis but are the least responsible for it.

But at the climate negotiations this week, developed countries are trying to allow multinational corporations and financiers to directly access GCF financing.

This means companies could bypass developing country governments and their national climate strategies to get to public money.

“Turning the Green Climate Fund into a Greedy Corporate Fund would be shameful, yet this is what is being attempted at the Durban climate talks,” said Meena Raman from Third World Network.

“Led by the US and the UK on behalf of Wall Street and The City, this attempt to hijack developing countries’ funding is outrageous. Communities need this money to address climate change and to finance their own development – without repeating the same mistakes that the rich countries have made,” said Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth US.

“The role of private investment in financing climate activities must be decided at the national and sub-national levels in line with countries’ priorities, not corporate bottom lines. The move to allow the private sector to go directly to the Green Climate Fund for money undermines the possibility of a democratic, participatory process for meeting the needs of communities struggling to fight climate change,” said Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

Few adaptation measures in developing countries will be attractive to the private sector, as they will not generate revenue. Some key mitigation programs may also not be financially lucrative.

Groups also warned against closed door negotiations on the Green Climate Fund by South Africa, the US, and other developed countries.

“Whatever happens in Durban must be fully transparent. We are deeply concerned by reports that South Africa is informally consulting behind closed doors on the Green Climate Fund decision,” said Bobby Peek of groundwork / Friends of the Earth South Africa. “This will greatly undermine the legitimacy, and ultimately the effectiveness, of the Green Climate Fund.”

The concerns expressed in the letter come on top of the long-held rejection by many in civil society of any role for the World Bank in the Green Climate Fund.

Occupy COP17 support these calls and stand in solidarity with all those truly seeking climate justice.

The event was interrupted by the corporate clowns from Conference of Polluters who urged those gathered to “trust the markets”. Blowing vuvuzelas and bubbles, they promised that unlike all the other bubbles, the carbon bubble wouldn’t burst. And you know what they say, you can always trust a banker.

The next general assembly, on Friday 2 December, will take place as usual at 1pm at speakers corner, junction of Walnut Rd and Bram Fischer. We are very pleased to hear that Ambassador Williams from Grenada and Ambassador Moses from Nauru will be leaving the air conditioned ICC and coming out into the sunshine to join our general assembly. We hope other delegates will follow suit.

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