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29 November - New Debt Service Watch briefing: The debt crisis is putting climate adaptation spending out of reach

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 10:50

Ahead of the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, DFI is today launching a new Debt Service Watch briefing which shows that in 2023, spending on debt service will be 12.5 times higher than spending on climate adaptation. In 2024, it will be 13.2 times higher.

Spending needs for climate adaptation in the Global South are up to US$340 billion a year. Yet just a fraction of this is currently being mobilised by domestic public budgets and donor flows. In 2021, just US$24.6 billion was provided in donor flows for climate adaptation, while 42 countries of the Global South reported just US$12.7 billion in domestic funds for climate adaptation. At the same time, debt service levels are at record highs. Broken down by region, in 25 Sub-Saharan African countries, debt service will consume 16 times as much as climate adaptation spending; in six small island developing states, nearly six times; in 4 Asian countries, 22 times; and in 4 Latin American and Caribbean countries, over four times as much.

Debt is crowding-out much-needed investments in climate adaptation at a time when taking action is becoming increasingly urgent. Debt relief and lower borrowing costs for countries of the Global South are essential to accelerate urgent spending on adaptation, and put SDG13 within reach.

These calls are also being echoed by other civil society organisations, economists and leaders at COP28, who have issued a joint statement calling on world leaders to cancel debt to deliver climate justice.

This briefing, has been produced jointly with AFRODADDebt JusticeErlassjahr, LATINDADD , Jubilee USA and Norwegian Church Aid.

It is a companion policy briefing to DFI’s recent paper, The Worst Debt Crisis Ever: Shocking New Debt Service Numbers, which analyses debt service alongside spending on education, health and social protection.

 

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