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A Global Green New Deal – new UNCTAD report outlines a financing plan

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero

10 Oct 2019 11:21:59

The debate about a Green New Deal has recently been reinvigorated in both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, the Green New Deal is part of the priorities of the European Commission’s President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. And at the UN in New York last month, sustainable development was featured in a series of global Summits, including the Climate Action Summit. In response, UNCTAD used the momentum to  launch the 2019 edition of the Trade and Development Report (TDR) which analyses the new deal from a financing perspective, identifies constraints and outlines innovative financing options.  Urgent need for more and better development finance  The new report comes at a time when neither the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda nor the Paris Climate Agreement is on track. ...

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A new European Commission: What are the implications for Development Finance in the next five years?

Following the European elections in May, former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has assumed the role of President-elect of the European Commission. In July, von der Leyen, the first woman to take this post, released a concept paper titled “A Union that strives for more” and on Tuesday this week she unveiled the names of the new Commissioners.  And with these releases, the policy agenda of the next European Commission, mandated to govern until 2024, is slowly taking shape. In response, we ask what are the implications for development finance?    Sustainable financing for sustainable development?  Sustainable development rhetoric scores highly on von der Leyen’s policy agenda, but the devil lies in the detail. The concept paper outlines “a strategy for ...

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Eurodad in Action at the UN Financing for Development Forum

Bodo Ellmers, Tove Ryding, Cecilia Gondard

24 Apr 2019 17:19:29

The United Nations convened in New York last week for the Financing for Development Forum. While the outcome document has been negotiated in advance, the Forum itself offered lots of opportunities to discuss what change we need to finance the sustainable development goals. Eurodad staff and members as well as the broader Civil Society Financing for Development Group made extensive use of these opportunities. Here is a wrap-up of the highlights which ranged from policy debates on aid, debt, tax and private finance to the first ever – but probably not the last – Civil Society Debt Workout.  Eurodad at the #FfDForum

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State of emergency: UN convenes Financing Forum while a new wave of debt crises threatens to derail sustainable development

Bodo Ellmers, Tove Ryding

16 Apr 2019 18:05:50

This week, governments will meet at the United Nations in New York for the Financing for Development Forum, and the challenge is very clear. Too little progress has been made towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), which to a large extent is the consequence of lacking finance. The 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a UN framework adopted at the same time as the SDGs, which is supposed to ensure money flows toward development and the achievement of the SDGs, is not fulfilling its objective. Political differences at the Addis Summit meant that fundamental institutions, such as a multilateral debt workout mechanism to prevent and resolve debt crises, could not be agreed upon. Developing countries have repeatedly called for developed countries to engage in a negotiation ...

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Challenges rise fast, reforms proceed slowly as political blockades remain an issue – Spring Meetings round-up

Finance ministers from around the world gathered in Washington DC last week for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings. Held amid an economic downturn and emerging risks of a new round of debt crises, the key task was to discuss how the two organisations can be made more effective to address these challenges, which threaten to affect people’s lives and derail progress toward development goals.  A gloomy scene for development A dramatic scene was set by the IMF’s flagship publication, the World Economic Outlook, which underlined rising inequality, while revising projections for the global economy down. Economic growth is now expected to slow to 3.3 per cent in 2019, a reduction of 0.4 per cent as compared to their overoptimistic projections from last year.  When economic growth ...

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Errors and Omissions: A glance at the European Commission’s new Communication on Policy Coherence for Development

Bodo Ellmers, Tove Ryding

14 Feb 2019 17:45:26

The European Commission has released a new Staff Working Document on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). The Commission’s report covers the first three years of the EU’s attempts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, an endeavour for which PCD is crucial. The document however unveils that the EU’s PCD framework, as complex as it might already be, continues to have severe omissions – in particular the complete neglect of the EU’s fiscal and monetary policies on sustainable development in and outside the EU. Moreover, while the Communication maps EU policies on taxation and investment, it sells some of those as positive contributions while it neglects the risks and negative impacts that EU policies in these areas have. Coherence in times of Sustainable Development ...

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Things to watch in 2019: Debt and emerging debt crises (part 2)

Bodo Ellmers

17 Jan 2019 11:57:36

Second in a two-part blog series  At the start of the New Year, the number of countries at high risk of debt distress is growing at an alarming rate. With so many crises already ongoing, and more expected to emerge over the next 12 months, it’s no surprise that the topic is high on the agenda of international organisations. But perhaps it’s not as high up as it should be in order to head off a looming crisis… Here are some of the key moments to look out for in the 2019 calendar: In March, the UN Human Rights Council will convene for its 40th session. On the agenda: adopting Guiding Principles for human rights impact assessment of economic reform programmes. These principles should ensure that future ‘reform programmes’ – i.e. adjustment programmes that creditors such as the ...

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Things to watch in 2019: Debt and emerging debt crises (part 1)

Bodo Ellmers

17 Jan 2019 11:57:23

First in a two-part blog series More than a decade after the last global financial crisis hit, the next wave of defaults is lapping at our shores. Financing conditions will become more difficult in 2019. The world’s major central banks ‘normalised’ their monetary policies last year, meaning that the times of cheap and abundant credit are over.  Both public and private actors that borrowed heavily in recent years are finding it increasingly hard and costly to refinance their sky-high debt stocks. The number of countries at high risk of debt distress is increasing. In this overview of 2019, we look at the key crises that are threatening economies around the globe, and which countries are likely to be hit hardest… An end to quantitative easing in Europe The European Central Bank ...

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G20 Summit in Buenos Aires: A non-event amidst citizen protests

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Tove Ryding

13 Dec 2018 16:26:12

By Bodo Ellmers, Maria José Romero and Tove Maria Ryding When the global financial crisis broke, the world looked to the G20 to find solutions. But as G20 leaders recently gathered in Buenos Aires 10 years on for their 2018 Summit, it was all too clear that ‘too big to fail banks’ have grown even bigger while we’re stuck with a vastly expanded shadow banking industry and a very worrying new wave of debt crises. Even though the G20 consider themselves to be the world’s major body for economic policy coordination, they are sleepwalking into the next crisis. Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that global debt levels have reached all-time highs and that the world economy is now even more highly leveraged than before the global financial crisis began a decade ...