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Why the Paris Financing Summit Failed

The June 22-23 Summit for a New Global Financing Pact promised to catalyze a revolution in climate finance and empower the Global South. But it failed to meet its lofty goals, concluding without a single firm commitment or concrete proposal to help developing countries reduce their debt burden and move away from fossil fuels.

NEW DELHI – The recent Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact was touted by its organizers, including French President Emmanuel Macron, as a groundbreaking initiative to forge a “new contract” between the Global North and South that would address climate change and foster sustainable development. The fact that most G20 leaders did not even bother to show up, however, casts doubt on the feasibility of the effort.

Despite the participation of roughly 50 heads of state, high-ranking representatives of international institutions, private-sector executives, and climate experts, the summit did not live up to its lofty promises. It failed to introduce the necessary measures to narrow the climate-finance gap, provide lower-income countries with the fiscal space they need to weather the current debt crisis, and overhaul the global financial architecture.

Shockingly, the summit concluded without a single firm commitment. This can be attributed to the opaque and unequal preparatory process, which lacked adequate consultation with low-income countries and civil-society groups and thus failed to create the conditions for forging new global policy frameworks. Ahead of the Paris meeting, the Club of Rome’s Earth4All Transformational Economics Commission published an open letter identifying four critical issues that leaders and policymakers must address. Unfortunately, there has been little progress on any of them.