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Accepted Paper:

Greening the anti-politics machine: How green financialization and de-risking shape Zambia’s renewable energy transition  
Franziska Müller (University of Hamburg)

Paper long abstract:

Green finance has become a game changer. The Sustainable Development Goals have set an ambitious agenda, which has fundamental implications for the shape and structure of development finance. The shift from Washington Consensus to “Wallstreet Consensus”(Daniela Gabor) requires establishing new political and financial instruments, which aim at maximizing contributions from the private sector.

Recently, ‘de-risking’ has advanced as a new political technology that aims at creating attractive level playing fields for incoming FDI, with international banks offering special insurances and stepping in as lenders of the last resort. Derisking has become a powerful tool for rendering states and economies accessible to foreign investors and for creating green economies literally from scratch, whilst creating new economic and political dependencies. De-risking activities have seldom been subject to critical research, and especially the role of green funding structures promoted by inter- and transnational institutions and insurance companies (African Trade Insurance, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, Munich RE) has scarcely been acknowledged.

My paper discusses the (anti)political and neo-colonial qualities of ‘derisking’ instruments for renewable energy transitions in Sub-Saharan-Africa, based on empirical research done in Zambia between 2015 and 2019. I take Zambia’s renewable energy transition as an example of green postcolonial statehood that resembles the concept of a “de-risking state2, whose local financial systems are re-organized according to the global de-risking agenda. For doing so, I combine three strands of thought: postcolonial finance (LHM Ling, Branwen Gruffydd Jones), subordinate financialisation (Philipp Mader, Daniela Gabor, Bruno Bonizzi) and green governmentality (Tanja Murray Li, James Ferguson).

Panel P34b
Racial capitalism and climate (in)justice in the 21st century: unsettling colonial entanglements and green 'New Deals' II
  Session 1 Wednesday 30 June, 2021, -