Energy access is critical to lifting people out of poverty, but not if it is coal-powered.
That’s the message campaigners from 120 development agencies brought to the international climate talks in Marrakech ahead of a day dedicated to business voices.
At a protest inside the conference centre, they criticised the world’s leading financial institutions for investing in the dirtiest fossil fuel in the name of poverty eradication.
An Overseas Development Institute (ODI) report recently debunked arguments that building extremely polluting coal power plants was a route out of poverty.
That message was re-emphasised by Christian Aid’s Dr Alison Doig, who is leading the group’s delegation at the talks. She said:
“Extreme poverty will only be eradicated if we effectively address climate change, the two are inseparable. But thankfully their solutions also converge. Expanding clean, home grown renewable energy to the world’s poorest and most remote people will have a transformative effect and deliver sustainable poverty eradication – something coal cannot do.”
They called on all public money to be divested from fossil fuels, and for institutions such as the World Bank and African Development Bank to stop funding new coal power projects.
They also demanded that G20 countries scrap fossil fuel subsidies, efforts that are stalling according to new analysis by thinktank InfluenceMap.
DeSmog UK captured the action:
Main image credit: DeSmog UK CC BY