‘The stakes are high,’ UN chief tells climate finance meeting in Peru

9 October 2015

Stressing that financial resources are central to meeting the goals of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that in order to create a low-carbon, climate-resilient future that benefits everybody, allocating appropriate finance is of key importance.

“The first step must be a politically credible trajectory for mobilizing $100 billion dollars per annum by 2020. The methodology for deciding what is climate finance, and how private finance is counted, needs to be developed by all concerned – developed and developing countries alike,” Mr, Ban told a gathering of Climate Finance Ministers in Lima, Peru.

The Secretary-General is currently in Lima, Peru to participate in the 2015 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.

In his remarks to the Ministers, he urged the developed countries to mobilize new climate finance resources beyond their official development assistance (ODA) and above what is already on the table, stating that ‘mobilization is about more than accounting.’

The UN chief also commended Germany, France and the United Kingdom for making pledges recently to double their public climate finance commitments. He asked other countries to make similar announcements before a UN conference in Paris, known informally as COP 21, where global leaders and international organizations will meet in December to agree a historic universal climate change accord.

“[Such announcements] are essential for strengthening equity and global solidarity. Trust can also be strengthened through innovative financing mechanisms that provide debt relief and new resources to strengthen the resilience of small island development states and least developed countries,” Mr. Ban continued.

As for countries that are facing imminent climate threats and are attempting to raise capital, Mr. Ban recommended seeking help from the G7’s Climate Risk Insurance initiative, the French Early Warning System and the African Renewable Energy and the African Adaptation Initiatives.

Highlighting trust between countries as priority, the UN chief said that collectively, all countries must ensure that the Green Climate Fund is fully up and running and approving projects in developing countries such as the small island developing States and least developed countries (LDCs).

Mr. Ban stressed that the annual meeting in Peru must produce an overall progress report on climate finance which is supported by both developed and developing countries alike.

“It could then serve as the comprehensive baseline on which further work will need to take place between now and the Paris COP. Paris must signal that a low-carbon transformation of the global economy is inevitable, beneficial and already under way,” he explained.

The UN chief noted that business and private financing companies are already beginning to respond to the climate challenge. He urged the governments to design policies that encourage the private sector to forgo short-term thinking and invest in low-carbon, resilient growth.

He also reported that the Climate Change Support Team at the UN has produced an assessment on the role of the private sector in supporting the transformation of the global economy toward low-carbon, climate resilient development.

“It finds there is growing consensus on the need for a real carbon price and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. Low-carbon investments are growing, but remain insufficient for limiting temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Adaptation needs are increasing, but are badly under-resourced. To meet these challenges, “we need bold leadership from Finance Ministers, from business leaders and investors, and from international financial institutions that include the voices of developing countries,” said Mr. Ban.


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