This weekend the global climate summit, COP26, ended with a complete betrayal of the countries on the front line of the climate crisis.
Here’s a summary of what was agreed on debt and the climate crisis:
There was one piece of good news
- Demands from lower income countries for a loss and damage fund to pay for climate damages were shamefully blocked by the UK, US and EU.
- There were no commitments from rich polluting countries to deliver the promised climate finance to the global South, most of which will be in new loans. And no plan to increase the climate finance needed for the global South to fight the climate crisis.
- You can read more detail on the outcome here.
– debt was mentioned in the final COP26 text as a key issue for lower income countries. This is significant because it gives us a platform to keep putting on pressure for concrete action
and it couldn’t have happened without thousands of us calling for more to be done.
Your contribution to sign petitions, join marches and help to amplify global south voices on social media all helped to raise the problem of debt during COP26.
What happens next?
We are going to keep fighting for grants not loans to be used for climate finance and for compensation. After all, compensation to the global South is not about donations or aid, but an obligation for rich polluting countries that created the climate crisis. It’s an issue of responsibility and reparations.
Without compensation, climate vulnerable countries already saddled with unpayable debt will have no choice but to take on more debt to fight a crisis they did not cause.
Country after country talked about their very survival being at stake as people across the global South are losing their lives, livelihoods and their homes to extreme storms, floods and hurricanes.
In the words of our partner Abu Bakkar from the Budget Advocacy Network in Sierra Leone:
"Without debt relief and no concrete commitment on climate finance in the form of grants, the objective of the COP26 will not be achieved."
Although we are bitterly angry at the outcome of the climate summit and the utter disregard for black and brown lives across the world, we will not stop exposing the multiple injustices of forcing global South countries into more debt to tackle the climate crisis.
Take a look at this blog to see fellow Jubilee Debt Campaign activists calling for debt cancellation on the streets of Glasgow. The collective actions of our campaigners and activists give me hope in the fight for debt justice.