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Climate protest in Paris ahead of finance summit

Climate protest in Paris.
Climate protest in Paris. Copyright LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors
Copyright LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AP
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Activists have transformed the Eiffel Tower into an apparent wind turbine to send a message to leaders ahead of a summit on helping developing nations meet the financial challenges of climate change.

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Climate activists in Paris used a propeller to transform the Eiffel tower into a wind turbine on Wednesday ahead of an upcoming international summit this week.

Heads of state, finance leaders, and activists from around the world will converge in Paris to seek ways to overhaul the world's development banks - like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank - and help them weather a warmer and stormier world.

While restructuring debt and reducing poverty will be part of the summit on Thursday and Friday, climate will be the main driver, with representatives from developing nations in Africa, Asia and elsewhere having a prominent seat at the table.

The World Bank and IMF have been criticised for not factoring climate change into lending decisions and being dominated by wealthy countries like the US, with the neediest nations most at risk of global warming left out of decisions.

While those are the primary problems to solve, some doubt the splashy summit led by French President Emmanuel Macron will be able to take major strides to correct those challenges.

Still, the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact will draw roughly 50 heads of state and governments - from Germany, Brazil, Senegal, Zambia and more - with more than 100 countries represented.

Climate activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate also are set to attend.

It’s been hard to summon the political will to spend taxpayer money to combat climate change, said Ahmed, a former senior official in both the IMF and World Bank.

French organisers want to show they can keep fighting poverty and meet the challenges of climate change at the same time, said a top French official said, who was not authorized to be publicly named according to the country’s presidential policy.

Organizers say the summit will end with a summary of commitments, including a roadmap for what to expect from this year's meeting of the Group of 20 major economies and UN climate conference.

But climate advocates say they want to see more meaningful commitments - like new money to help climate-vulnerable nations build sustainable infrastructure or reallocating existing funds to new climate-related projects.

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