Climate change and poverty, little progress at the Macron summit

Climate change and poverty, little progress at the Macron summit

Nothing revolutionary, but a step forward. Small, without major impacts on governments, but useful for more clearly indicating the road against climate change. Especially that loss and damage, as the fund destined for the poorest countries affected by the effects of the climate has been called, it is not just a slogan with which the COP 27 ended last November. An agreement only to avoid the worldwide disappointment of leaving Sharm el Sheik without no result, but that climate justice, inequalities, new poverties need a new global financial system. Challenges that the world cannot face if it is divided. "We need a public funding shock therapy accompanied by an increase in private contributions," he said French President Emanuel Macron who strongly wanted in Paris the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact co-organized together with India which holds the presidency of the G20 this year.

New global finance against poverty

"We have a financial system that is built on past consensus," Marcon said, "that is undoubtedly not going fast enough." Nothing historic therefore in Paris as happened in 2015, but the two-day event under the Eiffel Tower was a step towards future world meetings focusing on how to build a new global financial pact. And above all to take stock of which ways and means to increase financial solidarity with countries that pollute less than the rest of the world, but which are instead the most threatened by the climate crisis. In 2022, natural disasters cost more than 300 million dollars, and they put a strain on the economies of countries already in difficulty, creating a large financial gap that continues to widen. A titanic challenge for the World Bank and the IMF called to a radical change. And let the president of the World Bank be the Indo-American Ajay Banga that the director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva were present in Paris. The latter has announced that it will bring to 100 billion dollars its loans to poor countries. Also announced aid to Senegal to get out of fossil energy and debt relief Zambia after the 2020 payment default.

The summit

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"International taxes: they only work if everyone joins"

"No one should ever be put in a position to choose between poverty and climate protection", said the French president in the press conference following the Summit and urged a "mobilization" to launch international taxation on financial transactions, airline tickets and maritime transport to contribute to the fight against climate change and poverty. "Help us to urge countries that today do not have taxes on financial transactions and airline tickets. Help us mobilize theInternational Maritime Organizationand for there to be taxation". But the fight against climate change needs coordinated action that sees everyone's commitment: "International taxes only work if they are adopted by everyone". "We will defend a taxation that at the beginning can be very modest", specified the French president. "If China, the US or other major European countries don't follow us, it won't work". "We are in a time of fractures, with the risk that the world will break apart. With the invasion of Ukraine the world is dividing."

World leaders

The two-day meeting on the climate, however, drew a Palais Brongniart about forty heads of state and government, including the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres and the Brazilian president Ignacio Lula da SilvaChancellor Olaf Scholz. China was present with the premier of Beijing, Li Qiang and the US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. For Italy the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Edmund Cirielli. In the French capital also the president of Kenya, William Ruto, together with about twenty African leaders. With Macron the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyenthe president of the ECB, Christine Lagarde who recalled how 90% of the deaths caused by extreme atmospheric events in the last half century occurred in developing countries where 70% of the catastrophes occur. "ECB research indicates that in Europe alone, over 70% of our economy is highly dependent on natural ecosystems, a percentage likely to be higher in developing economies," Lagarde said.


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A jolt of solidarity

The Summit aimed at a "leap of solidarity" of rich countries towards the most vulnerable ones faced with immense needs - of trillions of euros - to face problems related to the climate, drought and floods, but also to get out of poverty by freeing from fossil energies and protecting nature. This is the first ambition, the other is precisely to reform the international financial architecture, modifying the missions of the IMF and the World Bank, which date back to the Bretton Woods agreements of 1944. It is precisely to remember all this that 350 ecological militants gathered in Place de la République, not far from the Palais Broigniart where the summit was held, to incite world leaders to stop investing in fossil energy by opting for green finance.

The protagonists

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The NGO One: along the path towards a new deal

For months, the prime minister of Barbados, one of the countries most exposed to the risks of climate change, had been pushing for the meeting in Paris. Thus interviewed by France Presse: "It's a good day, because almost everyone has accepted the natural catastrophe clauses", she said before the concert for the climate in front of the Eiffel Tower. But the international network of NGOs Climate Action Network (CAN) criticized the summit which does "new with used", rejecting a possible suspension of repayments "rather than the complete cancellation of the debt". The NGO One speaks of "encouraging progress but there is still a long way to go before a real 'new deal'".

Vanessa Nakate: 'Broken promises cost lives'

Next to Macron, the young activist from Uganda opened the two-day event, Vanessa Nakate, who asked the world leaders present for a minute's silence for all those "who are already suffering and hungry, who are displaced, who leave school". He also launched an appeal for "a fair exit from fossil energy", frontally criticizing the profits of Western oil companies. "Broken promises cost lives," she warned.

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