We've only just begun
If humanity stands together, humanity wins" Chief Na’Moks, a hereditary chief of the Wet’suwet’en nation, located in British Columbia in so-called Canada
Basel, June 25, 2023: The Peoples' Forum for Climate Justice and Financial Regulation closes with a commitment from Western campaigners and climate justice activists from around the world to continue uplifting the stories of frontline activists and demanding that the Bank for International Settlements and other financial institutions end fossil fuel finance.
The Peoples' Forum for Climate Justice is closing after the Bank for International Settlement's AGM, following four days of workshops, marches and artistic interventions.
Stories of resistance
Frontline activists from the Philippines, Mexico, so called Canada, Argentina, Uganda, Senegal, Colombia, Peru and South Africa shared stories of how oil and gas projects are destroying and polluting their homelands. These projects are funded by banks around the world without censure by the Bank for International Settlements.
Fernanda Herrera said to Western campaigners and activists: "We [frontline activists] will return to our struggles and we need to know that you will continue so we can continue fighting to protect that ecosystems we all depend on to survive."
Tribute to environmental defenders killed around the world
On Friday activists took over Margarethenpark in Basel to pay tribute to 21 environmental defenders killed all over the world. The tribute featured deceased environmental defenders from the US, Philippines, South Africa and Brazil, including Eduardo Mendua an indigenous activist who was killed trying to protect the Amazon in February of this year. The tribute was organised by Oscar Sampayo, Fernanda Herrera and Maria Elena Foronda from the Global Coalition of Peoples Facing Extractivism, along with The Enmedio Collective.
Peoples' Parade for Climate Justice
Around a thousand people (including Great Thunberg) marched through Basel to the Bank for International Settlements on Saturday afternoon where front line activists and Ekō activists handed over a 56,000 strong petition to Luis Pereira da Silva, calling for an end to fossil fuel finance.
The demands of the Peoples' Forum for Climate Justice and Financial Regulation are:
Adopt the one for one rule: higher capital requirements for all new fossil fuel projects will ensure accountability and a sustainable future
Enforce new bank obligations to respect communities’ and Indigenous peoples’ right to say no to fossil fuel exploitation on their land
Rewrite financial rules to ban financing for any industrial development in critical ecosystems
Exert pressure on Finance Ministers: address Global South debt issues and repair the loss and damage caused by fossil fuels. Let's build a just and resilient financial system.
Meetings with the Bank for International Settlements
"Money has no conscience, only humans do. And those humans who control that money should use that conscience to do better." Chief Na’Moks
On Tuesday Oliveria Montes Lazcano, a Mexican social activist, Chief Na’Moks, a hereditary chief of the Wet’suwet’en people in British Columbia and Sonal Tiwary a dedicated human rights champion, who provides pro bono legal assistance to marginalized communities in Jharkhand, India met with BIS officials including Deputy General Manager, Luis Pereira da Silva. Stories of biodiversity collapse and human rights violations caused by fossil fuels were shared with Mr Pereira da Silva to encourage him to weald all the power and influence he has to end fossil fuel finance.
We have planted the seeds to grow an international network working for a fairer global financial system that stops countries with disproportionate power determining global and economic policy.
It is not right that anonymous executives sitting in European banks in Western cities can, at the touch of keyboard, unleash money flows that destroy communities, human health and delicate ecosystems. Institutions like the Bank for International Settlement, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can no longer hide in tall towers denying the power and influence they have to slow down the climate car crash in which we are all passengers. The climate crisis is exploding in every corner of the planet and people with a conscience must act now or be burdened with the knowledge that they did nothing. Excuses and greenwash will not survive on a planet which is burning.
In Basel, front line defenders have taught those for whom climate breakdown is a fear of the future that their struggles are our struggles. Unless we fight for each remaining fishing community, forest and wetland the whole tapestry of Earth's biosphere will unravel. And those fights will not be won until equality reigns and the rule of applies to all.
The Bank for International Settlements and other financial institutions are on notice that nothing can match the strength of thousands of people from multiple communities and countries coming together out of love for each other and the only home we have. We've only just begun.
Phone: Frida Kohlmann, +41 77 909 76 83