As part of efforts to address pressing issues around climate change, ActionAid over the weekend launched a global campaign for financial institutions to cut funding of harmful climate activities like industrial agriculture and fossil fuel.
The Country Director of ActionAid, Andrew Mamedu, during a webinar on campaign launch of #FundourFuture, said the campaign also seeks to cut funding to these two major contributors of climate change, mitigate emissions, reduce inequality, protect vulnerable communities, and create a more sustainable future for both people and the planet.”
He noted that advocacy would ensure just transition into 100 per cent renewable energy and promote sustainable eco-friendly farming practices – agroecology.
He stated that the transition must be guided on four principles – they must address and not exacerbate inequality, transform systems to work for people, nature and the climate, as well as ensure inclusiveness and participation, besides developing comprehensive frameworks to support communities to make those shifts.
Mamedu said the campaign is targeted at raising awareness and demanding for a just, feminist, resilient world, by urging big investors to divest from fossil fuel industries and industrial agriculture, shifting the public narrative on industrial agriculture, making clear its huge role in driving the climate crisis, by providing data, stories, evidence and creative communications and also raising awareness, and building support for a feminist just transition and pushing for its funding.
This is just as the Global Lead on Climate Justice for ActionAid International, Teresa Anderson, said they are launching the campaign due to their findings that more funds are being spent on factors causing climate change, as against factors preventing it.
She submitted that industrial agriculture “is a major drive of deforestation, which causes climate change,” adding that fossil fuels remain one of the ingredients used for fertilizers, and when applied to the soil, it causes high emission.
Anderson stated that committing public funds into industrial agriculture and fossil fuel was aggravating global warming, adding that international banks “are willing to fund these two ventures at the detriment of the local communities, such as the oil spillages in Nigeria’s delta.”
She said despite the Paris Agreement to shift funds away from activities causing climate change, the reverse has been the case, as a whooping $370 billion had been spent by foreign banks on industrial agriculture, while about $3.2 trillion had gone for funding of fossil fuel in the global South.
The ActionAid official revealed that an average of $513 billion was going into funding of industrial agriculture and fossil fuel activities in the global South yearly when compared to the money that goes in supporting solutions, estimated at about $22.5 billion.
She lamented that the situation “is very absurd because a lot of money is going into companies fueling the climate crisis, while just a little is going into mitigation and adaptation of climate change.”