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“The World Is On Fire”: Larry Summers on the Pressing Need for New Global Financing through MDB Reform

September 29, 2023

“The world is on fire.”

Earlier this week, CGD’s board chair Lawrence Summers started a speech at the Confederation of Indian Industry with a clarion call for cooperation in the face of global threats like climate change and pandemics. This is a moment of discontinuity, and incrementalism will simply not deliver on the scale of challenges that we face.

Against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to reform the multilateral development banks (MDBs), Larry called for MDBs to triple their lending flows to developing countries by 2030 and to transform the way they worked with their clients, with the private sector and with each other. That appeal is part of a larger group of recommendations that make up a report to the G20 by a panel of independent experts he co-leads, and which I and others at CGD have been deeply involved with. Larry also spoke about the need for investments in ample and abundant energy that is not destructive of the world’s climate, a substantial augmentation of concessional resources, and new and active partnerships with the private sector.

Watch the full speech below:


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

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