By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington D.C. on Thursday, expressing opposition to funding of fossil fuels and demanding urgent action to tackle climate change.
Some of the activists gathered on bicycles and called for support for nations affected by climate change.
They carried posters that said “World Bank of climate chaos”, “stop funding fossil fuel,” “People over profit” and “actions speak louder than words.”
Ulric Erickson, a student and an activist, who was among the dozens of protesters on Thursday said: “These institutions are not what they claim to be.”
“This is an urgent issue and these institutions should not fund the fossil fuel industry and projects which are harming the world,” he told Reuters.
A group of protesters carried a banner just outside an entrance point that said: “Cancel debt for people & planet.” Some demonstrators used noisemakers and air horns. The protests did not cause major disruptions to the meetings.
“The path to economic sovereignty for the global South is not through the predatory loans offered by the IMF/World Bank, but instead through reparations of all wealth and resources that have been stolen from countries through colonisation, illegal invasions, occupations, and extraction of oil, gas and coal,” activist group Code Pink said.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday stressed that the World Bank, whose president, David Malpass, has been on the defensive about his views on climate change, must play a leadership role in the global transition to clean energy.
The White House condemned Malpass’s comments last month after he declined to say he supported the scientific consensus on climate change, although he later apologized and reiterated his view that human activity contributes to climate change.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Stephen Coates)