Climate and debt justice

There is no climate justice without debt justice

In the International Debt Week we want to highlight the importance of the interconnection between the problem of financial debt and the climate emergency. Find out more about it and act!

The climate emergency is fueling the accumulation of debt in countries in the Global South. Countries suffering from the impacts of climate change, while having contributed very little to it, are facing more expensive borrowing costs because of their climate vulnerabilities, and are also left with almost no option but to borrow to finance climate mitigation and adaptation, and to fund reconstruction and recovery after a climate extreme event.

Furthermore, climate finance, that should respond to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, is being delivered mainly through loans and debt creating modalities, putting the financial burden on the shoulders of the global south. On the other hand, countries having accumulated unsustainable debt levels have reduced fiscal space and opportunities to invest in adaptation and mitigation, as well as to recover from loss and damage after a climate disaster.

In this context, the need to transition globally towards a more sustainable and equitable economy will not be possible without sustainable, responsible, fair and non-debt creating climate finance, as well as finance for transition that does not exacerbate debt vulnerabilities in the global south. Furthermore, debt cancellation and a fair debt resolution framework is needed for countries to be able to face the challenges of climate change and pursue a green and inclusive recovery.

In a nutshell, climate justice will not be possible without economic and debt justice. And debt justice won’t be possible without climate justice.

This means, recognizing the climate debt that the north owes to the global south, and providing sufficient and quality climate finance and debt cancellation. But reparations for climate debt are also about ecological restoration, ending extractivism, and shifting to new modes of production, distribution and consumption. It is about systems change.

How you can join

Sign the statement, if you are an organisation. The statement is available in English, Español, Français, Português and Nederlands. Interested in finding out who else signed it? Click here for a full list of signatories.

For further information:

Global action for debt cancellation «There is no climate justice without debt justice»
Briefing EURODAD «The Climate Emergency: What’s debt got to do with it?«
Briefing «Debt and the climate crisis: a perfect storm»
EURODAD repor «A tale of two emergencies» |  Webinar
Climate Finance Shadow Report 2020


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