PARIS: Climate activists on Monday blocked entry to the International Monetary Fund’s Paris office with some gluing their hands to its doors, demanding developing countries’ debt be scrapped to help tackle climate change.
The Paris protest is part of a “Debt for climate” global campaign calling on wealthy-nation leaders attending the G7 summit in Germany to cancel the debts of poorer and less industrialised countries, known as the global south.
While low-emitting countries in the global south contribute the least to climate change, they tend to be the hardest-hit by the consequences, experts say.
“We need to give these countries the resources to fight against the climate crisis. They are the first victims and the last ones responsible,” said an Extinction Rebellion activist calling herself “Chalou”, one of dozens in front of the IMF building in Paris’ wealthy 16th district.
Several activists from Extinction Rebellion, Youth for Climate and 350.org glued their hands to glass doors at the building’s entrance, while others sat in front with their arms linked together inside tubes to make it harder to move them.
The group spread a banner reading “G7 responsible, IMF guilty” in front of the building, while some activists scattered fake banknotes marked with the slogan “Stop fossil fuels”.
“The debt crisis is first and foremost the result of an unjust financial system dominated by the richest countries,” activist groups Extinction Rebellion, Attac-France and Youth for Climate France, who organised the Paris action, said in a statement.
“The G7, the IMF and the World Bank have historical responsibilities in the development of this vicious circle of debt (and) over-exploitation of resources”, they added.
Environmental activists have organised a string of protests in recent weeks to refocus attention on climate change, as the energy crisis and war in Ukraine dominate the news agenda.