The New ‘Bond-Age’, Climate Crisis and the Case for Climate Reparations: Unpicking Old/New Colonialities of Finance for Development Within the SDGs
31 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2021
Date Written: November 28, 2020
In the current crisis period, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided a framework for new norms about governance of and access to external financing that emphasize stimulating investor interest and creating a suite of innovative instruments to address major development challenges. However, the inadequacies associated with extant financing streams are in sharp relief since they do not address damages and losses associated with the climate crisis. The current global configuration aimed at generating from “billions to trillions” of development finance are awfully mute on historical responsibility for the uneven and extreme consequences facing climate-impacted communities in the Global South. This paper interrogates the role of the SDGs, in particular SDG17, in both adducing financialisation as an evolutionary process, further extracting profit from racialized communities, and a source of instability in the global economy. It points to the manner in which the “trillions” deemed necessary are ostensibly mobilized in pursuit of financial returns to be made from climate disaster that generate further debt, dispossesses racialized populations in the global south, and thereby ushering in a new era of “bond-age” and coloniality. Current development financing arrangements under the SDGs would increase the cost burdens and compromise the Global South’s capacities to democratically manage and meet their developmental needs due to accumulating losses and damage from major extreme climate-induced events. Loss and damage compensation for marginalised developing countries at the forefront of the climate crisis must therefore come from another source: climate reparations. Climate reparations offer an appropriate encompassing philosophical and policy apparatus for first understanding the magnitude of climate breakdown, and second for mounting a response to ongoing environmental harm in vulnerable countries that is centred on climate justice.
Keywords: development finance, financialization, climate crisis, SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, climate reparations, climate loss and damage
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