April Action: S3F Demands at World Bank Spring Meetings Achieve Global Recognition

Ashley Schaeffer-Yildiz
2nd May '24

April was a busy month for the S3F campaign as we spearheaded a citizen petition in collaboration with WeMove Europe and an open letter calling on the World Bank to halt investments in industrial livestock production. Let’s catch you up! 

World Bank Spring Campaign

On April 19th, 2024, during the final day of the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. the S3F campaign met with representatives of the World Bank Group outside of their global headquarters to deliver a citizen petition and open letter on behalf of 160,000 citizens from 131+ countries and 280 civil society organizations from 60+ countries across the globe. This growing global movement is calling on the World Bank to stop investing billions of our taxpayer dollars into the expansion of industrial livestock production around the globe.

We created this petition video which was viewed and shared thousands of times. 

World Bank President Ajay Banga: it’s time to phase out financing for industrial animal agriculture and shift investments towards ecological farming systems that put communities first and protect the planet!

It was great to see such a massive show of global support. New partners and allies like Ecologistas en Acción mobilized their supporters to join the campaign effort. 

After delivering our civil society signatories and citizen petitions to the World Bank, we joined hundreds of allies at the Big Shift rally and march. The Big Shift Global is an allied coalition that calls on the world’s biggest public development banks to shift finance out of dirty fossil fuels and into sustainable, renewable energy to provide energy access for all. For the past few years, S3F has joined the Big Shift-led marches and rallies around the World Bank Spring and Fall meetings to highlight the often overlooked climate impacts of industrial livestock production. 

As our actions were ongoing at the World Bank headquarters in DC, our S3F Youth Ambassador Xananine Calvillo Ramirez organized an S3F contingent of Indigenous allies in New York City to participate in the Global Climate Strike, taking place during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. They marched across the Brooklyn Bridge chanting our demands to the World Bank.

S3F Digital Week of Action

To amplify our actions in Washington D.C. and New York across the globe, we led a digital week of action targeting the World Bank and private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We generated 1,154 tweets total using our hashtag #StopFinancingFactoryFarming in 7 different languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch and Polish), generating 4.5 million impressions and a reach of 2.6 million people. Here are some of the graphics that were shared on social media that week: 

News Coverage of the World Bank Open Letter

As we were launching our open letter, the Guardian wrote this excellent piece about it highlighting one of the IFC-financed projects we resisted last year about a multi-storey pig farm in China. 

Our activities were also covered in Politico Pro’s Morning Ag newsletter and the Devex Dish newsletter with a terrific summary of our campaign and some of the Bank-financed projects we’ve resisted. Devex also included a statement from the World Bank in direct response to our campaign efforts.

In a statement to Devex, a World Bank spokesperson defended the institution’s investments, saying that livestock farming plays a vital role in emerging markets:

“The WBG recognizes that the global demand for animal products will continue to grow over the next few decades, posing risks of deforestation, biodiversity loss and increased greenhouse gas emissions,” the bank said. “We therefore engage in carefully selected projects that provide affordable and nutritious animal products at scale to local consumers and that have the potential to influence the whole sector, enhancing food safety, reducing the risk of zoonotic disease, improving working conditions, and supporting animal rights.”

-World Bank spokesperson

S3F Devex Invested Ad

On April 23rd, we placed an ad in the special edition of Devex Invested covering the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings to get our campaign demands in front of 43k+ subscribers from our target audience (Devex’s full list includes a million subscribers).

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