WorldNews – January 29, 2021
Climate Change – World Bank – USA – G20
President Joe Biden’s sweeping assault on climate change is generating an enthusiastic global reaction, stretching from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to development non-profits.
Via executive order, Biden has committed to ending taxpayer funding for foreign coal, oil and gas projects, “while simultaneously advancing sustainable development and a green recovery,” That means U.S. officials are now urged to steer international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank to promote both economic recovery plans and debt relief aligned with Paris agreement goals.
The IMF needs no encouragement. In her first comments on the policy, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said she couldn’t be happier at the move. She emailed Global Translations “the U.S. is our largest shareholder so it is great to have its commitment to efforts that are aligned with and support the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Georgieva called climate change a “fundamental risk to economic and financial stability” and said that a “low carbon and climate resilient economy is at the heart of our work. One top development official texted POLITICO “Wow. Wow. Wow. Everything,” upon reading Biden’s climate order.
Other supporters among development officials, include U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who Thursday called for a “sustainable” global recovery including “debt relief for all developing and middle-income countries that need it.” Some go as far as to say Biden’s order will “reorient the world economy around net zero” emissions.
Biden leapfrogs the European Union in ambition: The bloc this week agreed on an immediate end to public finance for foreign coal projects and but said only that they would “discourage” investments in oil and gas. European finance ministries are also cautious about linking debt relief to climate goals.
Climate envoy John Kerry has wasted no time ramping up international engagement, addressing groups from the G-20’s business forum to the World Economic Forum and a climate adaptation summit in his first week. Kerry singled out China for being a major financier of fossil fuels around the world, saying Beijing was “funding 70 percent of the coal-fired power plants around the world in the Belt and Road initiative.” The U.S. will also announce a plan to increase financial flows to developing countries to help them cope with climate change, Kerry said.