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Global civil society groups unite against fossil fuels

Ahead of the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, Big Shift global campaign has released a briefing titled Dirty Dozen, highlighting fossil fuel projects that are being funded by multilateral and national development banks and export credit agencies.

More than 100 civil society groups from over 40 countries have signed a letter urging multilateral development banks, export credit agencies and the governments backing to stop funding fossil fuels by 2020, with an urgent need to move away from financing for oil and gas exploration projects, coal mining, and coal-fired power plants.

A press statement explains that “these projects are examples that demonstrate how public finance is still acting as a critical lifeline for destructive fossil fuel projects that could not otherwise be built, and how this support continues to this day, a full year after the Paris Agreement entered into force.”

The statement further explained that Dirty Dozen presents a wide spectrum of dirty projects, ranging from the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project running from Azerbaijan to Italy.

“…the projects documented in Dirty Dozen show that banks such as the World Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and others are gambling with our future. The financing of projects such as the Thabametsi coal fired power plant, using some of the worst coal burning technology in terms of GHG emissions and pollution, does not deserve to be considered, and should be dropped immediately. With cheaper, cleaner options available, considering such a project is nothing short of reckless.” said Robyn Hugo, Centre for Environmental Rights, South Africa.

Funding for fossil fuels

According to the Big Shift, from the above mentioned projects, the World Bank Group, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank together have offered $8.07 billion to the SGC in approved and proposed loans and guarantees out $45 billion in estimated project costs, while the Cirebon 2 coal plant is receiving almost $1.15 billion from JBIC and KEXIM, two of the world’s biggest coal financiers.

“It’s been over a year since the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, and two years since it was agreed – yet our governments still provide billions more in public finance for fossil fuels than for clean energy,” said Alex Doukas, Director of the Stop Funding Fossils Programme at Oil Change International.

Ian Rivera of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice added: “Communities are suffering, and environmental degradation has become widespread due to these projects. Continued funding to fossil fuels by development banks and financial institutions is, in a way, issuing a license to kill.”


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Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.