Green debt relief in sight – Climate Weekly

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Cruise ship Carnival Breeze docking in Grenada, January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic put most tourism on hold (Pic: Larry Syverson/Flickr)


“We are squeezed on all sides,” says Antiguan diplomat Aubrey Webson.

Many small island states rely on tourism to bring in cash. Coronavirus has cancelled millions of beach holidays and cyclones periodically deal development setbacks. But there is no break from debt repayments for those classed as “middle income” – even when that income dries up.

That’s one of the issues animating this year’s IMF and World Bank spring meetings, with Kristalina Georgieva saying vulnerability to climate shocks should be factored into the allocation of international finance.

The IMF is preparing to inject $650 billion into the global economy, which could bring some relief to the squeezed middle, depending on the details to follow in the summer.

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Building back worse

The deadly impact of Cyclone Seroja in Indonesia has brought renewed criticism of the government’s environmental deregulation agenda.

More than 160 people have been killed amid flash flooding and landslides since the storm made landfall on Monday.

A law passed in late 2020 to promote economic recovery from the pandemic risks increasing vulnerability to such storms, environmentalists warn, by making it easier for companies to clear forest and open mines.

Read more on: Climate politics