Climate Finance and the Promise of Fake Solutions to Climate Change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This essay explores how promises of money from global
institutions and governments have financialised people’s hopes
and expectations of government action to adapt to climate
change and slow the emission of greenhouse gases. Because of
the cultural power of money in our understanding of the world,
climate finance has had the particular job of signifying action
while delivering very little. In order to move forward with the
actual material changes to energy, infrastructure, production and
income distribution that lie at the heart of an effective response to
climate change, we need to accept that largely fictional promises
of money that ‘can change things’ are a phantasmagorical
expression of meaning—a firewall that prevents real change.
In making this point, the essay traces the small disbursement
figures for the main pots of climate finance and in doing so offers
a stringent critique of the obfuscating power of the language of
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNegotiating Climate Change in Crisis
EditorsSteffen Böhm, Sian Sullivan
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781800642621, ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781800642638
ISBN (Print)ISBN Paperback: 9781800642607, ISBN Hardback: 9781800642614
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2021


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