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Climate survivors need support, not excuses

By GEC · 29th November, 2019
Ben White Cafod
Image credit: Ben White / CAFOD at Flickr

The Green Economy Coalition is proud to join over 150 other organisations, movements and unions in signing an open letter to national environment ministers, COP25 president Carolina Schmidt, and European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, calling for a new fund to support survivors of climate disasters in the Global South.

A key issue at COP25 will be negotiating financial support for the devastation caused by climate disasters - which overwhelmingly impact poor and vulnerable communities in the Global South. But developed countries – those most responsible for the climate crisis – including the UK, US, EU, Australia and Japan, have spent years blocking concrete progress to create funding and debt relief for poorer communities most affected by rising global temperatures.

The letter, published ahead of the start of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid, is endorsed by author and activist Naomi Klein, and Lidy Nacpil, activist and coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development.

Dear Carolina Schmidt et al,

The under-signed organisations, recognising that the UN finds that climate disasters are now occurring at a rate of one per week and are set to cost at least $300 billion per year, call for an end to the stalemate in the negotiations on the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and the creation of a comprehensive financing facility, including debt relief, for developing countries experiencing such disasters.

A new fund should be financed through regular contributions from wealthy countries and other means, such as taxes on financial transactions, international air travel and fossil fuels. Funds should be disbursed to both governments and independent agencies, especially locally-based and women-led ones that are best able to reach those affected and/or contribute to lasting recovery and resilience.

An interest-free moratorium on debt payments should become automatic for developing countries experiencing climate disasters, in order to provide immediate access to resources which are already in the hands of the authorities and thus do not have to be mobilised through lengthy pledging exercises.

This should be complemented by resources from the new fund and a pre-designed framework for restructuring the entire stock of existing public external debt while allowing sufficient fiscal space for reconstruction to avert future debt crises. To be effective, the scope of the debt relief must be comprehensive, covering both private and official creditors.

Without a reliable and comprehensive financing facility to ensure finance to help countries cope with climate-induced loss & damage, the most vulnerable parts of the world will sink deeper into debt and poverty every time they are hit by climate disasters they did not cause.

We call for a comprehensive funding facility and a moratorium on developing countries’ debt, to be delivered at this COP in Madrid. We await your reply at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

International organisations and regional networks:
1. ActionAid International
2. ACT Alliance
3. Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development
4. Association for Climate Action Network Eastern Africa
5. CARE International
6. Christian Aid
7. Climate Action Network – International
8. Climate Action Network – South Asia (CANSA)
9. Cooperation Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE)
10. European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad)
11. The European Research Network on Social and Economic Policy (ERENSEP)
12. Green Economy Coalition
13. Initiative for Equality
14. International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
15. Islamic Relief Worldwide
16. Jubilee Caribbean
17. Mercy Corps
18. Oxfam
19. Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
20. Public Services International (PSI)
21. Society for International Development (SID)
22. Tax Justice Network
23. Third World Network
24. Women’s Environment and Development Organization
25. WWF International

National organisations:
27. Australian Marine Conservation Society
28. Australian Parents for Climate Action
29. Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
30. Climate Action Hobart (Australia)
31. Climate Action Monaro (Australia)
32. Climate Action Moreland (Australia)
33. Climate Justice Programme (Australia)
34. Lighter Footprints (Australia)
35. Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (Australia)
36. Pacific Calling Partnership (Australia)
37. Parramatta Climate Action Network (Australia)
38. Riverview Community Services Inc (Australia)
39. Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania (Australia)
40. 350 Australia
41. Attac Austri
42. Aid Organization (Bangladesh)
43. Arjon Foundation (Bangladesh)
44. Center for Participatory Research and Development (Bangladesh)
45. Equity and Justice Working Group, Bangladesh (EquityBD)
46. International Centre for Climate Change and Development (Bangladesh)
47. Oxfam in Bangladesh
48. Shariatpur Development Society (Bangladesh)
49. Songshoptaque (Bangladesh)
50. Women’s Voice (Bangladesh)
51. YouthNet for Climate Justice (Bangladesh)
52. Change Partnership (Belgium)
53. Corporate Europe Observatory (Belgium)
54. CNCD-11.11.11 (Belgium)
55. 11.11.11 (Belgium)
56. Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climático
57. Gestos (Brazil)
58. AidWatch Canada
59. British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (Canada)
60. Actions Communautaires Pour Le Developpement Integral (DR Congo)
61. La Ruta del Clima (Costa Rica)
62. Ekumenical Academy (Czech Republic)
63. CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France)
64. CliMates (France)
65. Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) (France)
66. Réseau Foi & Justice Afrique Europe antenne France
67. Secours Catholique – Caritas France
68. Brot für die Welt (Germany)
69. DEAB (Dachverband Entwicklungspolitik Baden-Württemberg) e.V. (Germany)
70. (Jubilee Germany)
71. Ethical Shareholders Germany
72. Katholischer Deutscher Frauenbund (KDFB) Bistum Speyer (Germany)
73. MISEREOR – German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation
74. Netzwerk Afrika Deutschland (NAD) (Germany)
75. Werkstatt Ökonomie (Germany)
76. Abibiman Foundation (Ghana)
77. UndebtedWorld (Greece)
78. National Society of Conservationists – Friends of the Earth Hungary
79. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development (India)
80. Integrated Research and Action for Development (India)
81. International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) (India)
82. Udyama (India)
83. ActionAid Ireland
84. Financial Justice Ireland
85. Trocaire (Ireland)
86. Funzione Pubblica CGIL (FPCGIL) (Italy)
87. Bio Vision Africa (Kenya)
88. Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center (Kenya)
89. Power Shift Africa (Kenya)
90. Action Solidarite Tiers Monde (ASTM) (Luxembourg)
91. University of Nottingham Malaysia
92. Friends of the Earth Malaysia
93. Instituto Nacional de Ecologia y Cambio Climatico (Mexico)
94. Community Empowerment and Social Justice (CEMSOJ) Network (Nepal)
95. Rural Area Development Programme (RADP) (Nepal)
96. United Mission to Nepal
97. Golden change concerned youth forum, Nigeria
98. Caritas Norge (Norway)
99. Changemaker Norway
100. Debt Justice Norway (SLUG)
101. Friends of the Earth Norway (Naturvernforbundet)
102. Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Norway
103. Norwegian Church Aid
104. Community Initiatives for Development in Pakistan
105. Fair Finance Asia Philippines
106. Institute of Global Responsibility (Poland)
107. Ekvilib Institut (Slovenia)
108. EnaBanda (Slovenia)
109. Auditoría Ciudadana de la Deuda en Sanidad (Spain)
110. Coordinadora de ONGD (Spain)
111. Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
112. Ingeniería sin Fronteras (Spain)
113. NOVACT International Institute for Nonviolent Action (Spain)
114. Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización (ODG) (Spain)
115. Plataforma Auditoría Ciudadana de la Deuda (Spain)
116. Conservation Action Trust (South Africa)
117. Alliance Sud (Switzerland)
118. CAN Tanzania
119. Center for Peace Education and Community Development (Uganda)
120. Climate Action Network – Uganda
121. Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development
122. Amigos del Viento (Uruguay)
123. Bretton Woods Project (UK)
124. Church Action for Tax Justice (UK)
125. Environmental Justice Foundation (UK)
126. Global Justice Now (UK)
127. Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK)
128. Practical Action (UK)
129. Polyp cartoons (UK)
130. Positive Money (UK)
131. Quakers in Britain (UK)
132. Stamp Out Poverty (UK)
133. Sustainable Innovations for Development Action (UK)
134. Tearfund (UK)
135. UK Youth Climate Coalition
136. War on Want (UK)
137. Women’s Environmental Network (UK)
138. Center for Biological Diversity (US)
139. Climate Caretakers (US)
140. Corporate Accountability (US)
141. Earth Action, Inc. (US)
142. EcoEquity (US)
143. Edmund Rice International (US)
144. Franciscan Action Network (US)
145. Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (US)
146. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (US)
147. Rainforest Relief (US)
148. Salesian Missions (US)
149. Sisters of Charity Federation (US)
150. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (US)
151. Green Innovation and Development Centre(GreenID) (Vietnam)
152. Planned Governance Network (Zambia)

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