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Statement on Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery

Statement on Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis is the biggest threat to human prosperity and a healthy planet in close to a century.

As the world confronts a new wave of the COVID-19 virus, the United Nations reports that many developing countries are forced to deploy 30-70 percent of government revenues to pay off international creditors rather than pursue these broader goals.

The World Bank estimates that upwards of 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021, with 8 out of 10 of these ‘new poor’ in middle income countries.

This is not the time for nation-states to be forced to trade their people and futures for international debt repayments that have ballooned for reasons largely out of their control, putting action on our shared climate change and sustainable development goals on hold.

It is the time to reset and restart our economies in a new direction with inclusivity, climate and development goals at the core of the recovery effort.

To that end, we the undersigned call on the G20 and world leaders to provide debt relief to emerging market and developing countries with unsustainable debt burdens so they can secure fiscal space to combat the virus, protect the vulnerable, and secure a green and inclusive recovery.

We also support a substantial new allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights, accompanied by a significant increase in multilateral and regional development bank financing aided by an increase in those banks’ capital. These measures are necessary to finance health, social protections and climate transitions for emerging market and developing countries in need.

We therefore call on the G20 to enact a Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery Initiative that requires bilateral, multilateral, and private sector debt relief on a grand scale analogous to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

A G20 emergency summit on a Green and Inclusive Recovery in response to the debt crisis is overdue. We urge the Italian G20 presidency to initiate such a summit as soon as the Biden administration has come into office.

An unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented response. It is time for G20 leaders to advance comprehensive debt relief and new financing to secure sustainable development and climate goals.

Signed,

Marion Williams – former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados

Atiur Rahman – former Governor of the Bangladesh Bank

Salehuddin Ahmed – former Governor of the Bangladesh Bank

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira – former Finance Minister of Brazil

Nelson Barbosa – former Finance Minister of Brazil

Roberto Zahler – former Governor of the Central Bank of Chile

Jose Antonio Ocampo – former Finance Minister of Colombia

Hans Eichel – former Finance Minister of Germany

Patrick Honohan – former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland

Njuguna Ndung’u– former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya

Andrew Mullei – former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya

Y.V. Reddy – former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

D. Subbarao – former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

Rakesh Mohan – former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

Fazeel Najeeb – former Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Shamshad Akhtar – former Finance Minister of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan Governor

Oscar Dancourt – former Governor of the Central Bank of Peru

Jean-Paul Adam – former Finance Minister of Seychelles

Momodu Kargbo – former Finance Minister and Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone

Rob Davies – former Minister of Trade and Industry for South Africa

Chalongphob Sussangkarn – Former Finance Minister of Thailand

Louis Kasekende – former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda

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Publications

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Events

Gordon Brown’s Keynote at the Launch of the Report

Transcript of the video provided by Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for the launch of the report “Debt relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery”

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Publications

Report “Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery”

The DRGR report calls on the G20 calls on the G20 to move beyond the Common Framework for Debt Treatments and to require public and private creditors to provide a substantial debt cut to a broad set of low- and middle-income countries, in exchange for a commitment to a green and inclusive recovery. 

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Events

Invitation: Launch of the Report ‘Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery’

On Monday, 16. November 2020, 2pm UTC, we launch our first report. It puts forth an ambitious proposal for concerted and comprehensive debt relief on a global scale to support sustainable recoveries, economic resilience, and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

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Events

Climate Action in Times of Debt Distress

The Special Session ‘Climate Action in Times of Debt Distress’ at the Third Annual Conference of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, examined the options for debt rescheduling that will allow for people centred investments that address climate change and inequality by leaving fossil fuels in the ground. Several co-chairs of the initiative presented insights into the issue.