Citizens for Financial Justice today publishes Gambling with Our Lives: Confronting Global Health and Climate Emergencies in the Age of Financialisation. The report exposes the impact of our over-reliance on the private financial sector to solve two of the most urgent emergencies of our time – the health and climate crises.

Gambling with Our Lives looks at the root cause of these emergencies – which, the report argues, is an unsustainable development model driven by skewed policy choices and unfair rules of the game, often dictated by private financial interests before those of people and the planet. The report assesses how rising inequalities, economic instability and vulnerabilities to climate and health shocks are being reproduced by a global economic architecture that depletes our commons and public resources and leaves countries increasingly reliant on private finance to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

“Our global climate and health emergencies cannot be addressed as separate – they are two related dimensions of the same extractive development path and unjust economic policy choices that have taken us to the precarious situation we are in today. That is why it is so important to build solidarity and systemic analysis across struggles for climate and economic justice and to connect the dots between movements working to reclaim our economies, advance public goods and services, and protect our global commons”, says Flora Sonkin, Economic Justice Policy Researcher at Society for International Development.

“COVID-19 has pushed humanity to a crossroads: either radically transform the way we do things for human and environmental health; or carry forward extractive capitalism, which has proven to be unfit to ensure the health of the planet and its inhabitants. We need to develop a new relationship with the planet – and one that is truly sustainable”, says Kat Kramer, Global Lead, Climate Change, Christian Aid.

“We have a skewed policy at the moment where the interests of investors are being looked after before the interests of people – particularly those suffering with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and the increasingly evident impacts of climate change. This report points out the failures of an ‘investment-first’ approach and proposes that we instead roll out on a ‘public interest-first’ approach that is in line with our international commitments”, says Matti Kohonen, Economic Justice Policy Lead, Christian Aid.

“More than a classical pandemic as we have seen in the past, COVID-19 needs to be handled as a syndemic, that is, the overwhelming symptom of a failed globalisation model that commodifies human and planet life, extracting profits from both. In the wake of the pandemic, all market and financial dogmas imposed on the health sector were disintegrated in a matter of days. The novel coronavirus has made one thing terribly clear: health is not and cannot be business”, says Nicoletta Dentico, Global Health Program Lead, Society for International Development.

2020 CFJ Gambling With our Lives title page

Gambling with our lives

Download the report