SOAS University of London

Centre for Sustainable Finance

Greening the Recovery in Time of Debt Distress: Launch of a Report on ‘Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery’

Gordon Brown, Mia Amor Mottley, Shamshad Akhtar, Kevin P. Gallagher, Stephany Griffith Jones, Moritz Kraemer, Barbara Unmüßig, Ulrich Volz

Date: 16 November 2020Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 16 November 2020Time: 3:30 PM

Venue: Online

Type of Event: Virtual Event

A global debt crisis is looming. Even before COVID-19 swept the world, the International Monetary Fund deemed the mounting global public debt burden a high risk for the majority of developing countries – noting that half of the lower-income countries were already in, or at high risk of or already in debt distress. As the COVID crisis worsens, developing countries face steep output contractions, massive increases in unemployment and poverty, as well as limited fiscal space, while the COVID relief and recovery efforts demand a massive upscaling of expenditures.

This new, systemic debt crisis emerges at a critical time when the global climate crisis demands the urgent mobilisation of huge investment in mitigation and adaptation. Moreover, the transition of fossil fuels from an asset to a liability partly driven by policy, partly by technological disruption, amounts to a third systemic crisis sweeping capital markets and the developing world. It is at the intersection of these three systemic crises that new and innovative answers need to be urgently found, breaking through silos of international policy making.

Against this backdrop, the Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery initiative puts forth an ambitious proposal for concerted and comprehensive debt relief on a global scale to support sustainable recoveries, economic resilience, and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

Join us during London Climate Action Week on Monday, 16 November, for the launch of the ‘Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery’ report. Please register your participation here.


Keynote Addresses

Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados

Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Presentation of Report

Shamshad Akhtar, Chair of the Board of Directors, Karandaaz Pakistan and Former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and Finance Minister of Pakistan

Kevin P. Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies & Director of the Global Development Policy Center, Boston University

Stephany Griffith Jones, Financial Markets Program Director at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University

Ulrich Volz, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, University of London & Senior Research Fellow, German Development Institute


Moritz Kraemer, Chief Economic Adviser of Acreditus and former Global Chief Ratings Officer of S&P Sovereign Ratings

Closing Statement

Barbara Unmüßig, President of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Organiser: Centre for Sustainable Finance

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