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Blog

Provide Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery

SOAS ICOP Policy Briefing and Podcast by DRGR-author Ulrich Volz

In line with recommendations for a green and inclusive recovery developed by an international team of economists, DRGR-author Ulrich Volz, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, urges the UK government, host of COP26, to propose urgently needed steps. Read more in the SOAS ICOP Policy Briefing or listen to the related 5-minute podcast.

Many developing countries, including Small Island Developing States, are suffering a triple crisis: debt, Covid-19, and climate change. UNDP estimates that close to US$1.1 trillion is due in debt service payments from developing and emerging countries in 2021 alone, and that 72 countries are at risk of external debt distress this year. Servicing this high debt undermines their ability to invest in climate adaptation despite an urgent need to scale-up investment in climate resilience.

There is a danger that vulnerable developing countries will enter a vicious circle: greater climate vulnerability raises the cost of debt, which further diminishes the fiscal space for investment in climate resilience, which further increases climate vulnerability and debt.

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Blog

V20 issues Statement on Debt Restructuring

V20 Statement on Debt Restructuring Option for Climate-Vulnerable Nations
STATEMENT BY THE V20 PRESIDENCY

The V20 Group are the finance ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). The CVF encompasses 48 countries with 1.2bn people. Ahead of COP26, the V20 has issued a statement on Debt Restructuring that draws upon the proposal “Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery (see our 3-minute video for a quick explanation).

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Blog

A Debt Relief Plan for Green Recovery

In the “Breakingviews” section at Reuters, our co-authors Shamshad Akhtar and Ulrich Volz write about the deceptive calm and misplaced optimism in debt markets. They point out the enormous hurdles that developing and emerging economies face in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting key climate and development goals at the same time.

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Blog

G20’s Turn to Lead on Debt Relief for a Global Recovery

A commentary by the DRGR authors Kevin Gallagher, Shamshad Akhtar, Stephany Griffith-Jones, Ulrich Volz and Moritz Kraemer, published at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).

The G20 measures in 2020 to support low income countries (LICs) facing unsustainable debt burdens were intended to give nations the space to mitigate consequences of the virus and rebuild their economies in a manner consistent with development and climate goals.

It has now become acutely apparent that such efforts were incomplete and inadequate. It is paramount that the G20 build on past work on debt relief and supplement it with new thinking and financing. Now that a significant increase in the allocation of Special Drawing Rights was endorsed last week, the G20 needs to build on its debt relief schemes to bring all countries in debt distress and all creditors to the table and to ensure that the recovery is aligned with the world’s broader development and climate goals.

Before COVID-19 started to spread across the world the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already warned that global debt for both the public and private sectors had reached $188 trillion and that two-fifths of low-income countries were at high risk of, or already in, debt distress.

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Blog

The G20’s Missed Opportunity

At “Project Syndicate”, the DRGR authors Shamshad Akhtar, Ulrich Volz, Moritz Kraemer and Stephany Griffith-Jones warn against dangerous shortsightedness in sovereign-debt restructurings and suggest steps for comprehensive debt relief oriented around a green, inclusive recovery.

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Blog

Statement on Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The following Statement on Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery is supported by 23 former Central Bank Governors and former Finance Ministers from around the world. The statement calls 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.

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Blog

The G20 Debt Plan Does Not Go Far Enough

The COVID-19 crisis has come at the worst possible time for humanity. The poorest countries were already struggling to meet their development goals in the face of cyclones, wildfires, and droughts, and the world now has only a decade left to slow down increases in global temperature and sea levels before they become catastrophic, and invest in climate-resilient development.

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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”

This conference today is of utmost importance, and in the month that we have found that we have an American president committed to net carbon zero by 2050 and a Chinese president committed to net carbon zero by 2060, this meeting is of great global significance as we fashion the new building blocks to take us there.