Reaction to UK suspension of loan payments in response to climate extreme events

Today the UK government has announced that new lending UK Export Finance makes to low-income countries and small island states will include clauses to defer payments when countries are hit by climate catastrophes.

Reacting to the statement, Heidi Chow, Executive Director of Debt Justice, said:

“It is welcome that the UK has recognised that when countries are hit by climate catastrophes, they should stop making debt payments. But under this scheme, these debt payments still need to be paid in the future, forcing vulnerable people and countries to pay for climate disasters caused by rich countries, including the UK.

“Wealthy governments still need to provide grants to countries to compensate for the Loss and Damage caused by climate extreme events, rather than being forced to take on more debt. And the UK needs to support comprehensive mechanisms to cancel debt to a sustainable level.”

Hurricane Matthew destroyed an estimated 90% of homes in Haiti’s Grande Anse department. (Flickr / European Commission)
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