The crucial topic of delivering climate finance in 2020 and beyond was the focus of an event held on day 4 of June Momentum for Climate Change – one of a series of events that demonstrate the commitment to deliver climate action and ambition in 2020.
As global warming continues – with 2020 projected to be one of the warmest years recorded – financial support to developing countries for climate action is crucial to build resilience to the impacts. In addition, the current health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and driving up the cost of climate action. The need to deliver climate finance has never been greater to help countries address climate-related needs and to recover in a sustainable way.
In her welcoming remarks at the virtual event, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, reminded participants that while COVID-19 is the most immediate challenge humanity currently faces, climate change remains humanity’s greatest challenge over the long term, adding that recovery from COVID-19 can also help put humanity on a more sustainable and climate-friendly development pathway.
“If we can seize this unique opportunity to recover better, we can avoid simply going ‘back to normal’ and instead put our societies and economies onto a more sustainable path – one that will help us achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” she said.
Ms. Espinosa pointed out that finance is key for a green economic recovery and spoke of the need for equal access to finance, not just for the richest nations, but for the most vulnerable amongst us:
“We must find ways to enhance developing countries’ access to climate finance, so that their needs and priorities can be met by climate-friendly financial resources.”
Underlining the importance of the event, she stated that while it was encouraging to see that some climate finance institutions have already begun to factor in the impacts of COVID-19 into some of their strategies and policies, “this is just a beginning and the conversation must continue.”
H.E. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Environment and Energy Minister of Costa Rica, said his government had invested more than USD 150 million to create a national finance mechanism to tackle deforestation, complemented by bilateral and multilateral finance as well as overseas development aid to create a local market mechanism, while at the same time tripling national economic growth, thus showing how financial support can accelerate transformation at the local level. He added: “We must not only mobilize resources and shift capital investment to green finance to address the 1.5 degree temperature goal, but we need to phase out perverse incentives and have a clear road map to continue raising the level of ambition and allocating resources to implement NDCs.”
Mr. Josué Tanaka, Managing Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that Multinational Development Banks have been doing their share working towards their commitment of a climate finance target of USD 65 billion by 2025, with investments in adaptation finance having doubled and the share of private finance also having increased. He explained that the EBRD is currently developing its next finance strategy: “This provides us the opportunity to reflect on what ‘green recovery’ means, including putting more emphasis in working with individual country partners, developing long-term strategies that serve as a frame for action, and systematically changing methodologies to assess if investments are aligned,” he said.
Mr. Mikko Ollikainen, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board secretariat, said: “This pandemic has highlighted the imperative for broad based resilience, that requires consideration of all risks without ignoring others.” He added that the Adaptation Fund has been taking this approach from the start, where projects have considered climatic factors that affect sustainability and vulnerability, and helped vulnerable communities face external shocks.
Mr. Javier Manzanares, Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), said the GCF was focused on minimizing implementation delays related to the pandemic: “We are working with our partners to understand challenges and adjust modalities swiftly in response to the dynamic context and operations,” he said.
Wrapping things up, Ms. Amal-Lee Amin, Climate Change Director of CDC Group, who moderated the event, spoke of the positive experiences and particular challenges that had come to light during the discussions, adding: “It is clear that there are opportunities and imperatives to build back better, ensure economic recovery, and create future development paths that are clean, green, climate resilient, consistent with economic matters and reduce inequality within and across countries.”
Read more about needs-based finance project managed by UN Climate Change here. The needs-based finance approach is being implemented as regional projects and national projects in over 100 countries.
The event was the second finance-related event since the start of the June Momentum series, following the special event on “finance and investments for a sustainable recovery” held on the opening day.
Read original release here.
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