UK government responds to inquiry into debt in low-income countries

Reacting to the UK government’s response to the International Development Committee’s inquiry into debt relief in low-income countries, Paul Steele, IIED’s chief economist who gave evidence to the inquiry said:

Press release, 07 June 2023

“The government has given a cautious welcome to the idea of aligning nature and climate objectives with debt relief but now is the time for them to really step up and see the value of this solution.

"Our analysis has shown that many of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are also among the poorest and most indebted. Their debt burdens act like a hidden handbrake, holding back their ability to adapt to and recover from the devastating impacts of floods, wildfires, monsoons and droughts.

“As the international community prepares to meet in Paris later this month to discuss reform of the international financial architecture, the UK government should be championing approaches that will address the triple crisis of debt distress, climate change and nature loss.”

Notes to editors

  • This story is part of our hidden handbrakes campaign, which is designed to expose and explain the unseen blockers of action on climate change. IIED has launched an interactive platform to enable these obstacles that are holding us back on addressing the climate and nature crises to be highlighted and shared.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Jon Sharman: 
+44 7503 643332 or jon.sharman@iied.org