International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 3 > Issue 2

Global Crises and Developing Countries: Financial, Environmental, Resource and Food Perspectives

Frederick van der Ploeg, University of Oxford and University of Amsterdam
Suggested Citation
Frederick van der Ploeg (2009), "Global Crises and Developing Countries: Financial, Environmental, Resource and Food Perspectives", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 3: No. 2, pp 119-160.

Publication Date: 15 Sep 2009
© 2009 F. van der Ploeg
Environmental Economics
Global crisesNatural resourcesEnvironmentVolatilityPoverty


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In this article:
1 Introduction 
2 The Global Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Developing Countries 
3 Global Environmental Problems Hit Developing Countries Hardest 
4 The Curse of Natural Resources 
5 Food Crisis Hits Africa Most 
6 How to Help Developing Countries? 
7 Conclusion 


The global financial crisis has potentially many adverse effects on the developing world: falls in exports of goods and services to the OECD, dramatic falls in commodity prices and resource exports, and falls in remittances. Many of the poorer countries are heavily specialized and dependent on natural resources, often landlocked, ethnically polarized, and financially underdeveloped. They therefore suffer especially from the notorious volatility of natural resource prices. Volatile oil prices harm not only producers and consumers in the developing world, but also harm environmental quality if they hold back irreversible investments in costly energy-saving technology and hydrocarbon substitutes. In the aftermath of the crisis, political leaders should seek for a global deal whereby resource-rich developing countries are helped to cope with managing very volatile streams of resource revenues while cutting back pollution of the energy industries. The global crisis facing the world today is thus not only a financial crises, but also a fuel and commodity crisis. In addition, the world also faces a food, water, and climate change crisis, all of which undermine the ability to sustain prosperity and eradicate poverty in the developing world. Hence, the contours of a Global Green New Deal will be sketched.