World Bank climate funding greens African hotels while fishermen sink

(Climate Home News, 16 Apr 2024) Climate Home reveals that the World Bank Group has counted support for luxury hotels as climate finance, which experts say fails the most vulnerable.

The spotless white-sand beach of Le Lamantin luxury resort in Saly, about 90 kilometres south of Senegal’s capital Dakar, is lined with neat rows of sun loungers and parasols. Here, holidaymakers enjoy jet-skiing, catamaran-sailing and spa therapy, unaware that their hotel is benefiting from international climate finance channelled through the World Bank Group.

Just a few kilometres further south, however, local fishermen in Mbour, the country’s second-largest fishing port, are struggling. The beaches where they keep their boats are being progressively eaten away by rising seas that also threaten their homes.

The stark contrast between the neighbouring coastal areas highlights how global funding for climate projects – largely taxpayers’ money from rich countries – often fails to help those shouldering the burden of warming impacts, especially when it is being used to mobilise more private investment for green aims.

“They prioritise Saly because the hotels are wealthy,” said Saliou Diouf, a retired fisherman who lost his house in Mbour to encroaching waves. “The World Bank should help the most vulnerable.” 

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Climate Home News, 16 Apr 2024: World Bank climate funding greens African hotels while fishermen sink