G20 finance ministers miss opportunities for debt relief and climate finance

Press release, 12 July 2021
Reacting to the closure of the G20 finance ministers meeting in Venice, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“The failure of the G20, especially hosts Italy, as well as the US and Australia, to use this weekend’s finance ministers' meeting to announce any new climate finance is hugely disappointing. Not only are they letting down vulnerable countries who are not getting the help they need to address the critical challenges they face, they’re letting down the whole world. 

“The success of the COP26 summit later this year hangs in the balance and, as host, the UK government must realise that its decision to cut aid is seriously undermining its diplomatic efforts to encourage other countries to increase climate finance. 

“The lives and livelihoods of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people are dependent on wealthy countries finally stepping up and fulfilling their commitment to US$100bn per year in climate finance. 

“It is welcome that the G20 have committed to use the special drawing rights issuance due in the coming months to provide support to vulnerable countries for a green recovery from the pandemic.   

“We urge the International Monetary Fund and rich countries that have the largest entitlements to ensure at least a third of this amount is used to support countries that cannot mobilise recovery resources as easily as OECD nations.   

“Anything less would be a gross failure of solidarity to nations that face the worst impacts of the both the pandemic and the climate crisis. 

“The failure to support debt relief for climate and nature is a huge missed opportunity to provide innovative finance for climate and nature investments.     

“The G20 needs to engage with the IMF and World Bank to work with other creditors including China and the private sector to make this happen through an international debt initiative for climate and nature.”  

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For more information or to request an interview, contact Sarah Grainger via email sarah.grainger@iied.org or 07803 116434.