Climate Change, Global Governance, International Trade & Finance Here’s how to repay developing nations for colonialism – and fight the climate crisis
Basic Page Sidebar Menu Perry World House
January 14, 2022
Michael Franczak and Olúfẹ́mi O Táíwò | The Guardian
Activists pushing for global reparations for colonialism and slavery are often accused of asking for the politically impossible. At the international scale, however, reparations are more plausible than one might think. That is because an international mechanism to move resources to the formerly colonized world in a politically feasible fashion already exists: the policy instrument of “Special Drawing Rights” (SDRs) managed by the International Monetary Fund.
Calls for changing SDR allocation are not new, nor is the idea that SDRs could function as reparations for trans-Atlantic slavery and colonialism. Professor Cynthia L Hewitt of Morehouse College argued for exactly this strategy as early as 2004. What is new is the political possibility opened by growing awareness of the global climate crisis, which requires solutions that are not only practical but historically just. SDR reallocation, as the Barbadian prime minister, Mia Mottley, suggested in her “stinging” speech at Cop26, is both.