On Friday, President Emmanuel Macron’s “Summit for a New Global Financing Pact” concluded by disappointing the expectations of developing countries.
The high-level meeting failed to reach even a deal for a tax on the greenhouse gas emissions produced from international shipping.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) promised “more inclusive changes” but did not specify mechanisms to convert poor countries’ debts into financing for projects aimed at mitigating the consequences of global climate change.
At the closing of the high-level meeting, Macron strove to present the existence of “a new consensus” to guide the reform of international financial institutions and the work of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The concrete results of the Paris Summit, however, would seem to indicate otherwise.
Although he said that he supported the tax on the greenhouse gas emissions produced from international shipping, the French president implicitly acknowledged that he had not gotten the go-ahead from some of the big players in that business.
Macron transferred the treatment of this matter to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), whose next meeting is scheduled for July.
Climate change is driving hunger and healthcare crises globally. @SecYellen we need bold action to reform @WorldBank to ensure more sustainable financing. Will you join forces with @miaamormottley at the Paris finance summit in June to #PowerOurPlanet?pic.twitter.com/KG0UWlBtZP
— JohnPapa (@JohnPapasFarm) June 23, 2023
Nor did the Paris Summit achieve the support of China, the United States, Germany and Japan for the implementation of the tax, which has only been supported by some 22 countries and the European Commission so far.
Regarding debt relief for the poorest countries, WB President Ajay Banga said that his institution will work on designing a mechanism to suspend repayment of debts in the event that a country suffers a natural catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva committed to “a more inclusive change”. The only concrete result in this matter, however, was a debt restructuring agreement for Zambia.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed skepticism about the new commitments as developed countries have so far failed to deliver on their pledges to allocate US$100 billion a year to finance climate-related actions in developing countries.
He also noted that the aspirations of the countries of the South “will not materialize” as long as global governance regimes and institutions remain the same.