Cop27: Climate Minister Chris Bowen attacks the World Bank’s response to the crisis | Cop27
Australia’s Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowenwill use a speech at the UN Cop27 summit in Egypt to call out the World Bank for its failure to address the climate crisis, and join calls for an overhaul of the international financial system.
Delivering a national statement at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference on Tuesday, Bowen will say Australia is back as a “constructive, positive and willing climate collaborator” since the Anthony Albanese-led Labor party ousted the coalition of right of Scott Morrison, who was widely criticized as an obstacle to the climate negotiations.
According to an advance copy of the speech released by his office, Bowen would not introduce new climate funding or policies. He listed changes made by the Albanian government since being elected in May – legislating an increased emissions target for 2030 (a 43% reduction from 2005 levels), joining a global commitment to reduce methane emissionsannouncing a bid with Pacific countries to co-host the 2026 UN climate conference – and said the government had “an ambitious agenda to implement”, but acknowledged that more action was needed. “We know there’s still a lot to do,” he said.
The minister joined a growing chorus of international voices calling for changes to the international financial system to better equip it to deal with the climate crisis, warning that the existing architecture was ‘built for another era’ and had to be adapted to an “inclusive climate”. agenda”.
“The urgency with which we need to act requires candid conversations about where we are now, where we are going and how we are going to get there,” Bowen said.
“Some of our international financial institutions are stepping up their work, our most important global task. Others are not. Just as we commit to this agenda as individual nations, our multilateral development banks – including the world Bank – must commit to it wholeheartedly, from their objective to their actions.
Bowen said there was a “moral imperative and compelling need” for institutions to work with countries to reduce emissions and “respond to climate change and its economic impact on nations”. This meant increasing the proportion of climate funds and ensuring that developing countries were not saddled with unsustainable debt, he said.
Figures of the British, American and German governments and across the developing world have called for sweeping changes to the World Bank, arguing that it has failed to deliver climate finance to the most affected countries.
One of the harshest critics, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley organized a meeting in July to develop a proposal for changes to the international financial system. Trillions of dollars of private and public capital will be needed to help developing countries embrace clean energy and respond and prepare for climate-fueled catastrophic weather events.
The pressure on the World Bank has increased since its head, David Malpass, told a New York Times event in September that he didn’t “even know” if he was accepting climate science. The person appointed by Donald Trump last week told the Guardian he was not a ‘climate denier’.
Bowen’s speech was preceded by a new report which found that Australia’s performance on climate change had improved slightly this year, but it was still a “poor performer “, in large part because of its continued support for fossil fuel exports.
The Climate Change Performance Index, published by Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute and the Climate Action Network with input from 450 climate and energy experts from around the world, ranked Australia 55th out of 63 countries and groups of countries. He was 59th last year.
The index authors criticized Australia for having “no national policies or plan on phasing out coal and gas mining…and plans to increase coal production and of gas by more than 5% by 2030. The increase is not compatible with the global 1.5 C target”.
A spokesperson for Bowen attributed the grading to inaction by the Morrison government.