International Environmental FinanceThis course will explore the increasingly important role of finance in responding to international environmental problems. Developing nations, particularly the largest and most rapidly growing such as China, India, and Brazil, have been unwilling to accept obligations to address global environmental problems without the promise of new financial resources. The amount and governance of financial resources has at times become the focus of negotiation ("show me the money") and an end itself, as opposed to primarily a means to promote an agreed end such as reducing emissions of greenhouse gases or protecting biodiversity. Finance has shaped new institutional arrangements like the Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund (GCF), with steadily greater expectations of resources -- $100 billion a year by 2020, in the case of the GCF. In addition to claims for help with "incremental costs," developing nations have made claims for compensation or payment for "loss and damages." Other potential financial issues to be explored include the environmental role and responsibility of international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank; the impact of lending by banks for projects in developing nations outside direct international control -- mainly large development banks such as BNDES in Brazil and large international commercial banks; and whether the share of total global assets under management -- over $75 trillion by one estimate -- can be redirected to support sustainable development.
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