Why might Green Finance and Sustainable Blended Finance be needed under the Global Plastic Treaty?

By Daniel F. Akrofi

The proposed global plastic treaty currently being negotiated seeks to end plastic pollution by regulating the entire lifecycle of plastics. To end global plastic pollution and decarbonize the global plastic economy, financial flows that fuel the global plastic industry must truly be tailored towards transitioning away from the current models of economic development, consumption, and overreliance on fossil fuel-derived virgin plastics – considering that 98 percent of plastics produced globally are fossil fuel-derived. This will require a 360-degree shift from the current mode of financing in the global plastic industry that encourages overreliance on fossil-fuel feedstock to produce excessive plastics (in some cases non-recyclable plastics) to green financing aimed at ending global plastic pollution.

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The narrow allure of bridging funding gaps with blended finance

By Patrick Bigger / Debt and Green Transition blog series

The last decade has seen the spectacular growth of a new genre of Development Bank and consultancy report- the Gap report. Covering issues from adaptation, to renewable energy, to biodiversity conservation, to infrastructure and more, these gap reports all try to quantify the shortfall between existing and needed finance to achieve specified outcomes or targets. The overarching message of all this ‘gap talk’ is that investment is not keeping pace with huge and growing financing needs to address the ecological crisis. Gap talk can offer useful numbers to understand the magnitude of challenges for achieving just decarbonization, building more resilient cities, or ending the 6th extinction. But the ubiquitous takeaway, steeped in capitalist-realism, is that there is not, and never will be, enough public financing from governments or International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to achieve these funding targets. Further, gap talk often obscures why this funding is needed in the first place, or the political economic mechanisms that are actually making the gaps grow, like harmful subsidies for oil and destructive agricultural practices or predatory debt relationships that prevent countries in the Global South from investing in climate-safe infrastructure or biodiversity safeguards.  

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