Civil society raises concerns about Resilience and Sustainability Trust’s green conditionality as Fund conducts interim review

9 April 2024

Civil society organisations (CSOs) and experts have raised concerns about the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (see Inside the Institutions, What is the IMF Resilience and Sustainability Trust?), as IMF staff embark on an interim review 18 months after its inception, which is expected to conclude in April or May.

A letter sent to the IMF’s executive board on 4 March and signed by 16 CSOs and experts questioned – inter alia – the suitability of ‘green’ conditionality attached to RST loans. An IMF staff guidance note for the RST published in November stated that RST conditionality can only consist of pre-existing climate targets of countries in “exceptional cases”, raising concerns about a lack of country ownership.

In 17 RST programmes to date, the IMF has promoted – among other measures – public-private partnerships for climate action, despite previous IMF and CSO research documenting that the latter arrangement often includes hidden costs (see Observer Winter 2023, Autumn 2022), as well a growing number of conditions related to power sector tariffs, with the letter raising concerns about the Fund’s failure to account for the “negative distributional impacts” of such ‘green conditions’.