The Coming Contestation: Green Transition Finance and Inequality in the Global South

The Green Transition will dramatically aggravate existing inequalities between the Global North and South without masses of new “cheap and concessional” finance. The Global South is already being hit harder by global warming than the Global North, as evidenced by widespread droughts in Africa and Latin America. Poor citizens are pushed deeper into poverty and threatened by famine, while the decline of hard export earnings restricts the capacity of local politics to respond.

State indebtedness and rising interest rates are leading to a sharp increase in debt payments from the Global South to the North (including China). A state like Kenya is currently paying already 8 times more on its debt than three years ago, money that is diverted from greening local economies and protecting local lives towards feeding the holders of capital in the North.

To make a meaningful contribution towards decarbonisation, the Global South would require some 2 trillion USD per year over a longer period of time. It is inconceivable that this can be taken up as new debt from the IMF or privately.

  • Are new political solutions inconceivable too? The world clearly needs political vision on the level of a Marshall plan or more to deal with its predicament.
  • Are such visions forthcoming?
  • Or are we stuck in capitalist business as usual?

GRIP will explore these issues and the ideas being developed in a new series of podcasts and blogs.