Change Finance, not the Climate
This new handbook is an indispensable guide to climate activists and policy-makers alike towards a complete overhaul of the financial system to stop climate chaos. Central to its message is that fossil fuel lending can be redirected towards green energy and that public finance and ownership can bankroll and provide the infrastructure for delivering a Green New Deal.
The book presents many progressive proposals to build a just and future-proof 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.