ClimateCovid P3.5: Climate finance justice: International perspectives on climate policy, social justice, and capital



Panel 3.5: Climate Finance Justice: International Perspectives on Climate Policy, Social Justice, and Capital


“Climate Finance Justice”

Lauren Gifford (Metropolitan State University of Denver, UC Santa Barbara), Chris Knudson (University of Hawai’i at Hilo), and Laura Sauls (University of Sheffield, UK)

Q & A

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Note that questions and comments can be intended for individual speakers, the entire panel, or anyone who has posted to the Q&A. Respond directly to a particular question/comment by way of the little “reply” below it. The vertical threadlike lines are there to make it easier to see which part of the discussion (i.e. “thread”) you are taking up. 


5 replies
  1. Lauren Gifford says:

    I’m curious if folks watching are interested in, or are tracking, any new forms of climate finance and how they are seeing them play out in implementation. Share here if you have any thoughts. Thanks!

  2. Wesley Martinez says:

    Laura Sauls

    Lauren, Chris, and Laura,

    Thanks for getting together and doing this call especially across all those time zones! As a PACE student in UC Santa Barbara’s ECALA program, I am coming into this discussion without much of formal background in environmental science and environmental justice issues. While doing my BA in History a topic that came up a few different times was the issue of the quasi-colonial that is maintained today between the developed and developing worlds. I can vividly recall discussing in class the degree to which the current system was intentional or not and coming to the conclusion that the current economic imperialism that exists was more a product of the slipshod decolonization and inherent power imbalance than an intentional colonialism as in earlier eras. The three of you were all speaking to experiences in the global south and the inequalities found there. I began thinking about how the major corporations and business interests in the developed world are extracting resources and wealth from this region and then, when the come to the organization asking for developmental aide, they are forced to change themselves to match a predominantly Western set of standards before a fraction of that wealth returns to with many conditions attached to it. Perceived from this angle the financial system is quite condescending.
    I am not sure how many of the other talks you have watched but Chris’s comments around 25:00, reminded me of the previous talk I watched with Meleiza Figueroa. She was talking about the tendency for the Western, Imperialist, or outside groups to come into these new environments in the global south or other communities that they lack an extended history with and attempt to export their solutions into these unfamiliar environments without understanding the ecological or geological consequences. I am beginning to think that the inclusion of native or local voices will be a principle component enabling lasting change.


    Wesley Martinez

  3. Laura Sauls says:

    Thanks Wesley for your comment! Both as an ethical commitment, but also increasingly from evidence of development and climate interventions, we are seeing that we need to move beyond seeing local peoples as “beneficiaries” or “stakeholders” and instead to see them as protagonists, as agents of change, and as rights-holders if we are to realize any approximation of sustainable development and/or justice. My paper from the special issue we highlighted here (Climatic Change 161) deals specifically with this question of who gets to decide what climate funding should do and how, because in trying to become “fundable”, many local groups are forced to conform to standards and roles that undermine their agency and traditional/local knowledges – a form of ontological and epistemological injustice. This is absolutely an ongoing colonial/imperialist project, embedded in the logics of capitalism and objective, rather than relational knowledges.

  4. Tiara Triplett says:

    Hello everyone my name is Tiara, I’am a student under John Foran I forgot that I never posted my question, but I want it to be here before the conference closes. First I want to say thank you so much for all your guys work. I found myself genuinely motivated and inspired after watching this and I would truly like to explore climate finance further. Nevertheless the question I have is in any of your guys research what form or steps did you were able to pin point a systemic weeding out of whose get a loan etc you briefly mentioned applications and the weeding out that happens there but I believe in order to critique and re imagine something better a full picture of the process is fully needed. So I guess what I am also trying to ask is there anything that you all can direct me to learning what the behind scenes process of getting a loan looks likes and entails? Also Chris you mentioned how capitalism is not an entirely bad process but rather one can be utilized in a more efficient and positive manner, is there any readings or research you can provide to elaborate more on why you carry this ideology? Because I found it truly fascinating especially because the conversation surrounding capitalism is also a direly negative one, so I would really love to hear your perspective to expand my perception. Hopefully you all will see this and I thank you so much as well as a big warm hug to all of your for sharing your experiences, knowledge, and years long dedication.

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