Public, private sectors essential for progress on climate change, says UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington D.C. Photo: World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie

17 April 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General, in his remarks to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting on climate change in Washington D.C., said that collaboration and bold leadership from both the private and public sectors is needed to progress on climate change at this “enormous opportunity to chart a new path.”

“This year's annual Spring meetings come at a critical moment. 2015 is our year to set the world on course to a more sustainable future for generations to come,” Ban Ki-moon said as he commended the leadership of both World Bank and IMF for organizing the conference.

“I welcome leaders from the public and corporate sectors,” the UN chief added.

On the political front, Mr. Ban called for a “realistic” trajectory to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 that was pledged by developed countries in 2009 – with resources above and beyond official development assistance (ODA).

The UN Green Climate Fund has to be “up and running” – with projects and funding ready to go, he added. That means at least half of the pledged contributions have to be in by October. Least developed and small island developing countries which are especially vulnerable need significantly larger allocations from public funding, ODA, the Green Climate Fund and the LDC Fund.

He added that least developed countries (LDCs) and small Island developing States (SIDS) need help tapping into international markets and attracting investors.

Companies announced $200 billion in commitments at the UN Climate Summit in September. Now, they must turn commitments into actions that can blaze a trail for the trillions in low-carbon infrastructure that can help meet the world's needs for cities, energy and agriculture.

Businesses who are publicly stepping up to meet the climate challenge know that taking bold climate action makes good business sense, and that an ambitious global agreement is vital, Mr. Ban said, urging CEOs around the world to “lead by example and make good on their commitments.”

“It is time to end the separation between infrastructure and sustainability. I urge finance ministers, Government leaders and the business community to invest in a low-carbon pathway for future infrastructure projects,” Mr. Ban continued.

Policy dimensions of a climate finance package must help put the global economy on a less-than-two-degree pathway. The World Bank and the IMF can help by supporting economic drivers like carbon pricing, a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and stronger energy efficiency standards.

“I will continue mobilizing all partners so that we can bring all three dimensions together in a comprehensive finance package for Paris,” he said, emphasizing that for the upcoming climate change conference in Paris in December to succeed, it needs a finance package that covers the political, economic and policy dimensions.


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