Global leaders begin* a two-day summit in Paris today where they are, broadly speaking, seeking to remake the global financial system into a tool to fight climate change and minimize its impact on the developing nations least responsible for causing it. The summit, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in close collaboration with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Indian government will take on many aspects of Mottley’s “Bridgetown Initiative” — a plan focused on increasing developing nations’ access to money to address the climate crisis, including through debt relief.
Developing countries’ unsustainable debt burdens are a huge obstacle to lessening their vulnerability to climate change and many, including Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate who spoke Thursday immediately after President Macron, have called for wealthy nations to cancel large swaths of debt.
Concurrent with the summit, Pakistan premier Shahbaz Sharif met with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris on Thursday to discuss the release of $1.1 billion from a $6 billion IMF bailout package to keep Pakistan solvent as it struggles to recover from the climate-fueled flooding that submerged one-third of the country a year ago. (Summit: AP, New York Times $, Reuters, E&E $, Barron’s, Context; Debt burdens: AP, Deutsche Welle, AP; Pakistan recover: AP; IMF meeting: AP)
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the dates of the summit, which ran June 22 and 23.