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Bringing light to our lobbying

Sarah, from the Tearfund Action team shares how last week’s World Bank meetings gave us a crucial opportunity to talk in detail to World Bank officials about our campaign to Light up the Darkness.

Written by Tearfund | 17 Oct 2018

Group of people with a sign saying world bank light up the darkness

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Last week’s World Bank meetings gave us a crucial opportunity to talk in detail to World Bank officials about our campaign to Light up the Darkness.

Sue Willsher, a senior policy advisor at Tearfund, and Thet, from our partner Spectrum in Myanmar, met with the UK Executive Director to the World Bank, Melanie Robinson, and gave her a scrapbook full of pictures and quotes from UK supporters and communities around the world, calling for more investment in off-grid renewable energy, which best helps people in poverty.

Just before the meetings, the global panel of climate experts, the IPCC, published its report calling for urgent action to ensure global warming stays within 1.5 degrees. This makes the shift from investing in fossil fuels to renewable energy all the more important, and it will be crucial for the World Bank to increase its level of ambition in response.

Sue also met officials from the US, Canada and across Europe, as well as World Bank experts on climate change. Most were supportive of our call for more investment in off-grid renewable energy but we need to work with them to keep the pressure up. We especially want to strengthen voices from the communities we work with around the world, demonstrating the need for this kind of investment to help some of the world’s poorest communities. For example the scrapbook we presented included pictures of thousands of students, alongside church leaders and politicians - including the Vice-President of Nigeria - who signed the Light up the Darkness petition at a conference in Nigeria in the summer.

Our partner Thet was able to talk about Myanmar’s experience of renewable energy. He spoke about the need for more joined-up planning between projects providing electricity through the grid and those providing off-grid energy, and for a focus on reaching the poorest, especially in rural communities.

Over 12,000 supporters have now signed the Light up the Darkness petition and over 300 people engaged with the social media campaign to #Lightupthedarkness. Thanks to this support, the call for more investment in off-grid renewables is being heard loud and clear, and will help us continue to lobby the World Bank in the months ahead.

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