Crisis Capitalism and Climate Finance: The Framing, Monetizing, and Orchestration of Resilience-Amidst-Crisis

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Crisis Capitalism and Climate Finance: The Framing, Monetizing, and Orchestration of Resilience-Amidst-Crisis


  • Joshua Long Environmental Studies Program, Southwestern University, USA


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Abstract:  Throughout the development sector there has been a pronounced call for new funding mechanisms to address the climate crisis, and much of this is focused on attracting private sources of capital to fund ‘bankable’ projects in climate-vulnerable cities throughout the world. Enacted amidst a 21st century landscape of interlocking financial, epidemiological, and ecological crises, this call features an urgent narrative of ‘resilience-amidst-crisis’ that promotes large-scale, profitable investments as a form of green growth through debt-financing. The political orchestration and administration of new funding mechanisms (particularly green bonds and sustainable bonds) requires a new form of climate governance focused on the channeling of enormous sums of private capital through an assemblage of intermediaries toward profitable climate projects. This article interrogates this trend in climate finance, revealing that the framing, monetization, and orchestration of climate projects is dependent on a narrative of crisis capitalism deeply rooted in a colonial mindset of exploitation and profit. A key aim of this article is to deconstruct the contemporary dominance of crisis-oriented development and suggest the goal of decolonizing and democratizing the climate finance system.

Keywords:  climate finance; climate governance; climate urbanism; crisis capitalism; resilience

Published:   28 April 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v9i2.3739


© Joshua Long. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.