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Change Finance (not the Climate)

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“‘Green finance won’t save us — but fundamentally transforming the global financial system just might. Oscar Reyes is one of our indispensable experts on climate and finance, and I’ve long relied on his work. If you want to know how we can democratically marshal the resources for a Global Green New Deal, this is the place to start.” – Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal

The financial system must be completely overhauled to stop climate chaos. Fossil fuel lending can be redirected towards green energy to protect people and the planet. Challenging the role of “big finance” will require political intervention rather than mere technical fixes. Public finance can take a lead by bankrolling a Green New Deal, placing democratic control and equitable access to common goods and
services at the heart of investment.

This book presents progressive proposals to build a fair financial system that can respond to the climate crisis, assess their potential impact, achievability and any associated drawbacks. Climate activists are presented with a variety of financial tools to power a just transition, including: green bonds for public investment in a Green New Deal; credit policies by central banks and financial regulators to increase fossil free lending and cut the flow of finance to the worst polluters; the creation of green development banks with a clear climate and social mandate to prioritize public and local initiatives; reforming company boards and introducing corporate charters that offer a legal vehicle to hold companies to account for the pollution they cause; divestment from fossil fuels, targeting insurance companies underwriting the coal sector  as a first priority, and the development of climate investment strategies by public pension funds.

Decades of austerity have stripped the state of much of its capacity to invest through debt financing and undermined the tax base, allowing transnational corporations and a growing billionaire class to shift their profits and wealth beyond the reach of tax authorities. These trends must be reversed urgently, and power shifted back to democratically accountable public enterprises, to move rapidly towards a fossil free world.

Source: Transnational Institute

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