Friday, June 23, 2023
The Summit for a New Global Financial Pact could have been a turning point on climate change and the future of our planet. We came to Paris hopeful for radical reform, ready to celebrate breakthroughs for equity and justice on behalf of vulnerable countries that are trying to tackle climate change.
Instead, we are disappointed to see that most leaders of the world’s richest nations and most powerful institutions have once again gathered and emerged with insufficient solutions and lightly-held promises.
There are some positive outcomes from this campaign and summit – we are proud to have stood united with young activists whose lives are being disproportionately affected by climate change, Heads of state from the Global South, and advocacy groups calling for change. We welcome those leaders from the Global North who are taking action and don’t just talk. But the absence of urgent and moral courage from those wielding the most power is a frustrating conclusion.
Further, we are encouraged by the steps taken by World Bank President Ajay Banga to reform key policies, including incorporating suspension clauses into loan agreements for countries hit by natural disasters. We also celebrate the coalition of countries which agreed to cancel Zambia’s $6.3 billion in debt. We also now have a coalition supporting the creation of a tax on the shipping sector. France has also stepped up by increasing its share of Special Drawing Rights allocated to climate-vulnerable countries to 40 percent.
However, in spite of President Macron’s best effort, the Summit for the New Global Financial Pact cannot be deemed a success.
The rest of the G7 leaders simply didn’t show up, ignoring the urgent needs of the most vulnerable people and countries. Worse, the US failed to explain how it will deliver on its 2009 promise to give money to help countries struggling to find resources to adapt to climate change. They still owe some of that money, and they haven’t told anyone when or how they are going to deliver.
The biggest economy in the world needs to do its part to help the most marginalized countries of the world, and deliver on the promise it made in 2009 to do so.
We need to see courageous reforms from the world’s biggest economies and worst polluters to dismantle the financial systems that are perpetuating the climate crisis holding populations in extreme poverty.
The Power Our Planet campaign is just getting started. We will continue to stand for justice on behalf of the countries and populations being devastated by climate change, which have contributed the least to this crisis, and now turn our attention toward this year’s G20 meetings, Global Citizen Festival on September 23, and COP28. It ain’t over til it’s over.
Jerome Foster II
Dean Bhekumuzi Bhebhe
Ineza Umuhoza Grace
Wanjiku ‘Wawa’ Gatheru
Mitzi Jonelle Tan
Don’t Gas Africa
Loss and Damage Youth Coalition
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Glasgow Actions Team