Global leaders gathered in Paris on June 22-23, 2023 to seek financial solutions to tackling poverty, curbing planet-heating emissions and protecting nature. Opening the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “public finance shock” – a global push of innovation and financing – to fight these challenges.
Ugandan climate campaigner Vanessa Nakate took the podium at the New Global Financial Pact Summit at the Palais Brongniart to criticise the fossil fuel industry, saying they promise development for poor communities but the energy and profit go elsewhere. “Please do not tell us that we have to accept toxic air and barren fields and poisoned water so that we can have development,” she said.
In her address, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley – an advocate for reimagining the role of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in an era of climate crisis – insisted on an absolute transformation of our institutions.
Other summit participants included Saudi Arabia Prime Minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and World Bank President Ajay Banga.
Outlining the challenges facing developing countries, Guterres said more than 50 nations were now in or near debt default – many of which are also particularly vulnerable to climate impacts – while many African countries are now spending more on debt repayments than on healthcare.