There is a correlation between climate change, climate finance, and unsustainable debt levels in Africa. In this African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN) Brief, we highlight this connection focusing on eight countries in debt distress currently (Chad, The Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and one highly indebted country (Ethiopia) in sub-Saharan Africa. These countries (referred to here as Debt and Climate Vulnerable (DCV) countries) are also some of the most climate vulnerable countries despite having some of the least carbon footprints.
In this symposium on vulnerabilities in international economic law (IEL), the contributors focus on the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for trade and investment regimes in the global south. The contributors offer a diverse range of perspectives from the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States and Africa to demonstrate how the pandemic has intensified existing vulnerabilities and created new forms of inequalities in trade and investment. Each contribution offers a reflection on how the pandemic intersects with an aspect of IEL and presents concrete policy steps that have been, or could be, taken to redress the negative and harmful effects of the pandemic, be them intentional or unintended. Common to all contributions is the question of how we - an international community of scholars, activists and policymakers – can make trade and investment regimes more resilient, inclusive and sustainable.