Course

Introduction

Climate finance is rapidly evolving as emphasis shifts from the public sector to the private sector to mobilize the majority of funding for climate-related programmes and activities. International financial institutions are experimenting with increasingly complex forms of private investment, often channelled through financial intermediaries, while private investors are diversifying their climate portfolios away from stumbling carbon markets. Private sector engagement in the field has raised concerns that public money and institutions will be used to shoulder finance risk while the private sector reaps the profits. The alienating language and assumptions at work have made it difficult for social movements and civil society to develop and target their advocacy as effectively as possible. A basic understanding of the mechanisms relating a ‘real’ economy to a financialized economy, key financial sector players, and the confluence of financial instruments and accounting schemes is lacking. This online course is a response to a desire expressed by campaigners to understand more about this emerging climate finance architecture, explain key proposals in non-technical language and draws out their key implications, and examine who has the money to invest and what they are spending it on.

 

Financialization and climate finance 101

Who’s investing: The “new power brokers” in international finance

The IFIs’ new clothes: “leveraging” investment and other stories

Blurring the boundaries: private equity and public-private partnerships

Creating new commodities: carbon trading and ecosystem services markets

Alternatives to financialization, and how to make climate finance work