G20 help for Honduras?: Solar power project to combat climate change in Honduras

A comment

At the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, President Biden, Indonesian President Widodo, and European Commission President Von der Leyen co-hosted a group of G20 leaders to demonstrate their shared commitment to deepen engagement under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) to accelerate investment in quality infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries around the world and strengthen the global economy.

In line with the G20 theme for 2022, “Recover Together, Recover Stronger,” PGII investments aim to create lasting positive impacts for partner countries, strengthen the resilience of communities, and support inclusive, sustainable development, as well as benefit partners’ economic security and global supply chains. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Read on. 

A Solar Development project in Honduras will be funded as a part of the PGII.The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is providing a $52 million loan guarantee to J.P. Morgan, who is financing Banco Atlantida’s purchase of $31 million of U.S. equipment for a 53.4 MW solar power project in Honduras. The transaction is the largest-ever solar project EXIM has financed in the Americas. The project will utilize American-made equipment from First Solar Nextracker, Shoals Technologies Group, and Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped.

Apart from the obvious point that the major beneficiaries of the project are US companies rather than Honduran companies – although there will be some small-scale spin-off benefits to local people and companies – this project finance represents another example of mixing public and private finances to promote neoliberal development, in this case in the name of climate change.

Despite the fact that this project promotes solar power, it also promotes a form of economic development that has, arguably, been the single most basic cause of climate change. Using neoliberal financing measures to combat climate change is already a failed strategy and will perpetuate the widening of differences between the rich and the poor of the world.