Paris meeting seeks financial reform. It will challenge climate leaders 2023

This week in Paris, heads of state, financial executives, and activists will discuss ideas to reform the world’s development institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, to weather a warmer and stormier planet.

Climate will drive the summit Thursday and Friday, with officials from developing nations in Africa, Asia, and beyond. Debt restructuring and poverty reduction will also be discussed.

The World Bank and IMF have been criticized for not integrating climate change into financing choices and being dominated by wealthier countries like the U.S., leaving the neediest nations most at danger of global warming out of decision-making.

While they are the main issues, others doubt the flashy meeting chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron can address them.

The Summit for a New Global Financing Pact will bring 50 leaders of state and government from Germany, Brazil, Senegal, Zambia, and more, representing over 100 countries.

Yellen, Li Qiang, Banga, Georgieva, Thunberg, and Nakate will also attend.

As head of the Bridgetown Initiative, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley will free up money following climatic disasters and address developing nations’ increased borrowing rates and debt.

“We’ve got to think much bigger, much bolder,” says Washington think tank head Masood Ahmed. We must adapt.”

Ahmed, a former top IMF and World Bank official, said political resolve to invest public money to tackle climate change has been difficult.

“In the United States, we don’t have in Congress today the kind of support that you would want for a major global initiative on climate,” he added. That makes it tougher to transform a logical plan, a required strategy, and a key set of measures into legislative action that puts money on the table.

A top French official, who could not be identified due to presidential policy, said organizers want to prove they can combat poverty and climate change at the same time.

The summit will conclude with a summary of promises and a strategy for this year’s G20 and UN climate conference, according to organizers.

Climate supporters demand more substantive promises like fresh money to help climate-vulnerable nations create sustainable infrastructure or reallocating current funding to new climate-related initiatives.

“If we’re going to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Glasgow Actions Team director Andrew Nazdin.

The event is meant to promote development bank reform, according to a U.S. Treasury official. The anonymous official previewed gathering preparations.

This year, the World Bank pledged to contribute $50 billion over 10 years to fight extreme poverty and climate change.

Former World Bank President David Malpass seems to dispute the theory that burning fossil fuels causes global warming. Banga, who replaced him this year, is attending his first major foreign convention.

The World Bank and IMF did not respond.

Since 1997, when she chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Yellen has advocated for climate-sensitive financing. She’s advocated for international bank reform and include low-income nations.

She declared climate change a “existential crisis” that no country could battle alone and demanded World Bank and IMF changes.

“We must also help developing countries transition their economies away from carbon-intensive energy sources and expand access to clean energy,” she stated last October.

Dartmouth climate scientist Justin Mankin hopes the meeting avoids strengthening climate-vulnerable nations’ inequalities.

“To pursue development in a world where global warming has already occurred has to take on those inequities,” Mankin said, “and reckon with the fact that developing economies are in a foot race” against richer countries, which have been massive polluters and hold the purse strings.

He advised against overly rigorous climate aid criteria since global development banks prefer larger developed nations.

“What sets of conditions these banks impose on countries is one way of knowing whether these inequities can be reinforced,” Mankin added.

Ahmed, the former IMF and World Bank official, expects a G20 group to propose more concrete reforms to the IMF, World Bank, and other global development institutions in the coming weeks.

Bringing together states with diverse interests and escalating geopolitical tensions, particularly the U.S. and China, will be difficult.

“Geopolitical tensions, suspicion of globalization and institutions, and only a partial recognition that solving these global problems will cost taxpayers makes it harder to follow through with actions,” Ahmed added.

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