May 10, 2021 News
– Urges global banking system to fund more climate resilient projects
Kaieteur News – Between fossil fuels and renewables, Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, recently said there is no doubt now that the latter is a way more cost effective option, thereby reinforcing the soundness of calls to transition to cleaner energy sources.
Given the need to make radical changes to lower global temperature, Guterres is urging the global banking system to fund more climate resilient projects. The official made these and other statements at the recent convening of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. There, the Secretary General said, “We need the shareholders of multilateral development banks and development financial institutions to work with the management of these banks on funding a low-carbon, climate-resilient development that is aligned with the 1.5-degree goal.”
Further to this, Guterres said he welcomes countries that have pledged to end fossil fuel finance and subsidies. He stressed nonetheless that the time has come to put a price on carbon and to shift taxation from income to carbon. The Secretary General said, “I remain deeply worried about the lack of progress on adaptation. Already people are dying in big numbers, farms are failing, millions face displacement. And there is a false dichotomy that says adaptation finance can only increase at the expense of mitigation finance.The fact is that we need both.”
With reduced fiscal space, high debts and mounting climate impacts, the UN official said developing countries need mitigation and adaptation finance in equal measure. In spite of this stark reality, the Secretary General highlighted that adaptation finance to developing countries is a mere 21 percent of climate finance. This represents US$16.8 billion. Guterres pointed out that actual annual adaptation costs in the developing world alone are estimated at US$70 billion, and these could rise to US$300 billion by 2030.
With this in mind, Guterres said, “I reiterate my call to donors and multilateral development banks to ensure that at least 50 percent of climate finance is for adaption and resilience. And I ask them to make concrete proposals so small island developing States and the least developed countries can access climate finance more easily than today.”
Guterres stressed that this is a matter of urgency and trust while adding that developed countries must honour their long-standing promise to provide US$100 billion annually for climate action in developing countries. He also called for developed countries to make substantial climate finance pledges for the coming five years.
With six months to go for the hosting of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the UN Secretary General urged world leaders to make the time left count. He said, “I encourage all ministers to start working on an ambitious and balanced political deal that supports developing countries. And I ask all stakeholders to make sure that their plans and initiatives are ambitious, credible and verifiable. There must be no doubt on the environmental integrity of our actions – from Article 6 negotiations to private sector net zero commitments.”
Guterres concluded, “We have a small and narrow window of opportunity to do the right thing. But our future is in our hands and in your hands, dear friends. Let us use the pandemic recovery and COP26 to promote a safe and sustainable future for all nations and people.”
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