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WTF: Climate Activists Ask World Leaders “Where’s the Finance?” to Deal with Global Crisis

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The United Nations says it hopes to mobilize $100 billion to combat climate change and to help compensate victims of global warming. But activists at the climate summit in Morocco say countries are pledging far too little. At a protest today, they held signs reading ”WTF?” or “Where’s the Finance?” “The worst part is, $100 billion is not even close to what we need for climate finance,” says Aneesa Khan of the group Earth in Brackets. “The amount we need is in the trillions.” We get response from Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Final comments as we wrap up this discussion, Mary Robinson? Here at the climate talks at the U.N., the U.N. has said it hopes to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars to combat climate change and to help compensate victims of global warming. But activists, who moments ago held a protest here at the COP, say that countries are pledging far too little. They held a small protest holding signs reading “WTF”—not what you think, or maybe it is, but it’s “Where’s the finance?” This is Aneesa Khan of the group Earth in Brackets.

ANEESA KHAN: If we’re looking at the amount that’s been pledged, what we have is only between $18 billion to $34 billion. The worst part is, $100 billion is not even close to what we need for climate finance. The amount that we need is in the trillions. We spent $13 trillion to bail the banks out during the financial crisis, but we can’t even come close to this. The way that this climate finance process has been happening right now has us saying, ”WTF?” Where’s the finance? Where’s the equity? Where’s the justice? This money is not a compensation. This money is not out of pity. This money is a debt that is owed to those on the front lines of climate change, and they deserve it right now. So, say with me, ”WTF?” “Where’s the finance?”

PROTESTERS: Where’s the finance?


PROTESTERS: Where’s the finance?

AMY GOODMAN: That is Aneesa Khan of the group Earth in Brackets. ”WTF?” “Where’s the finance?” President Robinson?

MARY ROBINSON: I very much agree. Climate finance is incredibly important. That $100 billion is incredibly important, but I also agree with what she said: It must trigger trillions. That’s extremely important. That’s the public—the money coming from governments and from public sources. That must leverage the private sector. And I understand that the private sector now knows that that’s even more important than ever. There are many leaders who are non-fossil fuel company business people who are here at the COP, who are pressing for the need to have more investment in developing countries, and there are projects for investment in developing countries. There are people working on a new climate economy that will provide jobs in developing countries and energy to developing countries. My friend Rachel Kyte, who heads Sustainable Energy for All, is working extremely hard to get a different approach to access to energy, clean energy for all of those in developing countries. I very much agree with the passion. Where is the finance? I agree. And we have to get it. And we have to make sure that it is there and it is there for the people who need it most, because they have suffered the most from the fossil fuel that helped to build other people’s economies.

AMY GOODMAN: President Mary Robinson, thanks so much for joining us. As we sit in front of the plenary here at the U.N. COP. That’s the COP 22, Conference of the Parties, the U.N. climate summit. Mary Robinson is the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy on El Niño and climate, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice. She served as president of Ireland from 1990 to '97 and U.N. high commissioner for human rights from ’97 to 2002. She's a member of The Elders and the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, Bernie Sanders’ first major address since the election of Donald Trump, and we’ll get response. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: “Ever Since the World Ended” by Mose Allison, the great jazz and blues pianist, singer and songwrite. He died Tuesday at the age of 89.

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