Lower Income Countries Spend 5 Times More On Debt Than Climate Effort

(@FahadShabbir)

Lower Income Countries Spend 5 Times More on Debt Than Climate Effort

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 27th October, 2021) Developing countries are spending over five times more on external debt payments than projects to protect people from the impacts of climate change, Jubilee Debt Campaign said on Wednesday.

"To address the climate emergency, we need urgent action on the debt crisis. Lower income countries are handing over billions of Dollars in debt repayments to rich countries, banks and international financial institutions at a time when resources are desperately needed to fight the climate crisis," Heidi Chow, Executive Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, says.

The official added that during the UN Glasgow Climate Summit from October 31 to November 12 wealthy nations need to stop shirking their responsibilities and provide climate finance through grants, as well as cancel debts. The UK-based NGO believes this is the least they can do to acknowledge their role in creating climate crisis in the first place and enable lower income countries to deal with the impacts of climate breakdown.

Jubilee Debt Campaign released a document on Wednesday that shows the ratio of spending on combating consequences of climate change and paying off debts.Thirty four countries are spending $5.4 billion a year on adapting to the consequences of climate change already underway, but $29.4 billion on debt payments, the document says.

During talks in 2009 in Copenhagen, the EU countries promised to provide $3.5 billion a year to poor countries. In addition to this, the six-party group, which includes Australia, France, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, tabled their proposal. In total, they promise to deliver $3.5 billion to the poorest countries over three years to combat deforestation.

But, according to Jubilee Debt Campaign, wealthy countries still have not allocated this money to poorer countries and taking into consideration the fact that over two-thirds of money is loans, they increase debts of low-income countries.

"Owing to the immense financial pressure on Uganda from the debt crisis, the government is unable to spend what is need to protect people from the damage inflicted by climate change. Furthermore, the Ugandan government is intensifying fossil fuel extraction in order to pay the debt. To address climate injustice, debt relief must be part of the forthcoming UN climate talks," Ausi Kibowa, from the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute, Uganda, said.

Jubilee Debt Campaign is part of a global movement working to break the chains of debt and build a finance system that works for everyone. It was founded in 1996 in the UK as charity and focused on the connections between poverty and debt.