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The September issue of our monthly newsletter for WDM groups and activists, Think Global, is out now! Find out the latest on all our campaigns here, including new actions for our 'climate debt' campaign and full event listings for the autumn. 

MEPs fired questions at the new European trade commissioner Karel de Gucht in a European Parliamentary hearing last week (12 January).

On Sunday, David Cameron will attempt to capitalise on the international presence in London for the Olympics to convene a ‘hunger summit’ – but campaigners have warned that the prime minister’s big business approach ‘risks entrenching the root causes of hunger’.

Environmental and anti-poverty groups in the UK have reacted angrily to the Royal Bank of Scotland opening an 'oil and gas advisory' office in Calgary. RBS, which is 84% owned by the UK public, has been the subject of controversy in the UK over its record of being the UK bank most heavily involved in financing fossil fuel projects and companies around the world

Press release, 04.02.2011

At a joint press conference, Director-General Jacques Diouf of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the French Agriculture Minister, Bruno Le Maire called financial speculation on food both economically dangerous and morally unacceptable. They called for an international response at the G20 to the record food prices and volatility including regulation of financial speculation on commodity markets. The World Development Movement welcomes this and supports action to tackle dramatic food price rises and volatility by reducing speculation on food by banks, hedge funds and pension funds.

WDM often takes life and campaigning very seriously. And why would we not, the injustice in the world is staggering - the people who caused the problem rarely pay. This precedent seems fixed from the cuts in the UK to the people affected most by climate change - it's always the people who are least able to cope who get hit first and worst. 

Kate Blagojevic, press officer

The PR tactic of organising a meeting with your opponents days before a protest or critical report is launched is as old as the hills. But it can still be disarming.

Austrian bank Volksbanken, has added to the growing number of European banks to withdraw investment funds linked to food commodities.

In total four German banks, one Scandanavian bank and one Austrian bank, including giants Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, have all either withdrawn food-based funds or stopped issuing new ones.


A new WDM/PLATFORM report released today finds that transforming the Royal Bank of Scotland into the Green Investment Bank would kick start the green energy revolution.  The research, by former Pricewaterhouse Coopers consultant, James Leaton, finds that it would bring 50,000 new green jobs a year, boost the UK economy, reduce the UK's carbon emissions and improve international competitiveness - whilst not increasing the budget deficit.

The World Development Movement believes that a key reason that food prices rises have been increasing dramatically is due to excessive speculation in commodity markets by investment banks and hedge funds and that the UN FAO should be coming out more strongly against excessive speculation.

Dr Julian Oram, who is attending the UN FAO emergency summit in Rome commented:

The World Development Movement reacted critically to the announcements saying that for 30 years developing countries had faced the same austerity measures which led to more poverty and more injustice for the poorest people. It also said that it was deeply deceptive that climate finance and the Green Investment Bank were being touted as 'good news stories' by the coalition government.

The progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals is being discussed at a summit in New York. The goals were set in 2000 with a target of meeting them by 2015. Ten years later, it's clear that progress in many areas is slow, espeicially for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where over half the population continues to live in abject poverty.