Investing for the Future: How Debt Relief Can Help Make Space for Climate and Development Goals

With only six years left to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement targets, bold and swift policymaking is necessary to stave off severe impacts for both present and future generations.

Yet, emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are facing historic levels of external debt, higher interest rates and low growth prospects that are inhibiting their ability to invest in climate and development goals without sacrificing debt sustainability.

A new report from the Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery (DRGR) Project finds that of 66 eco­nomically vulnerable EMDEs, 47 EMDEs with a total population of over 1.11 billion people will face insolvency problems in the next five years if they seek to ramp up investment to meet climate and development goals. The authors argue that debt relief, in a package with new liquidity and affordable development finance, is urgently needed to allow these 47 economically vulnerable EMDEs to maintain debt sustainability while investing in climate and development.

The DRGR Project has developed a proposal that is in many ways a modern-day version of the Brady Plan and the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative of the 1990s combined. The proposal is designed to address the immediate challenges fac­ing indebted EMDEs, while providing a step­ping stone towards establishing a new global debt architecture that is fair, transparent, efficient and cognizant of the needs of EMDEs.

On Tuesday, May 14 from 9:00-10:15 AM EDT | 15:00-16:15 CEST, join us for a webinar discussion featuring global experts in international development, debt and climate on the latest DRGR Project report and how to sustainably advance development and climate investments.

  • Shamshad Akhtar, Former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and Finance Minister of Pakistan
  • Jörg Haas, Head of the Globalisation and Transformation Division at the Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Bogolo Kenewendo, Global Economist, Former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana, Former Special Advisor to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions
  • Patrick Njoroge, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya
  • Ulrich Volz, Professor of Economics; Director of the Centre for Sustainable Finance, SOAS, University of London
  • María Fernanda Espinosa (moderator), CEO of Global Women Leaders, GWL Voices; former President of the UN General Assembly and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Ecuador