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The Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Finance: Catalytic Agent or Empty Vessel?

Jackson Ewing Portrait

For Brookings Future Development blog, Jackson Ewing, a senior fellow at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and an adjunct associate professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, and his co-author write that climate change is creating an investment challenge. Although overhauling traditional energy systems, curtailing harmful industry practices, and scaling emerging technology can make economic sense, they often mean steep front-loaded costs. The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals are crafted to accelerate the flow of climate finance to developing countries, but, on the surface, it is unclear what new value they bring.