It’s time to cancel debt for climate-stricken nations, Barbados leader says

By Zia Weise | 02/22/2024 06:35 AM EST

Mia Mottley has been leading a yearslong push to transform how the global financial system handles climate funding.

Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Mottley attends the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum on Nov. 10, 2023. Pool photo by Stephanie Lecocq

AMSTERDAM — Countries on the front lines of climate change should have their debt forgiven, the prime minister of Barbados told POLITICO as she pushes to mainstream an issue long considered taboo.

“We need to have a different deal for island countries and the poor countries of the world,” Mia Mottley told POLITICO and Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant in a recent interview at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
De Volkskrant

“Quite frankly, I think that we’re at a stage where we need another Jubilee moment — a debt cancellation policy,” she added, referring to a 1990s debt forgiveness campaign.
1990s debt forgiveness campaign


Mottley’s appeal carries weight. The Barbados leader has spent the last few years leading a global push to transform the way global financial institutions help developing countries — and particularly vulnerable nations like hers — access the money needed to combat climate change.