Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s opening remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the event “Multilateral Development Banks and the Private Sector: Enhancing Partnerships for Paris Alignment”, in New York today:
It is a pleasure to be here. Your presence sends a powerful signal that we are all together in our battle against climate change.
Achieving full decarbonization will require the transformation of the economy as a whole. The Secretary-General and I deeply appreciate your leadership and efforts in stepping up the work towards enhancing financial flows to where they are needed most.
I want to underscore the importance of building an effective partnership between the multilateral development banks and the private sector.
I am encouraged by positive trends on both public and private finance flows. For example, at the twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, multilateral development banks committed to step up efforts to create the market conditions necessary to facilitate investments that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Multilateral development banks reported an increase in climate finance of 22 per cent between 2017 and 2018, reaching a total of $43 billion.
The level of investments in climate action is considerably below what is needed. We need to scale up all forms of climate finance — public, private and blended.
The current situation calls for a deep transformation of our economies. Large investments are required in critical sectors of the economy — such as transport, energy systems, water supply and telecommunications.
We need more companies to align their business strategies with the goals of the Paris Agreement; more investment in low-emission and resilient businesses; and an organized transition towards an economy that is able to manage climate-related risks.
Additional efforts must be directed to addressing the most vulnerable. We must focus on unlocking finance for the most vulnerable countries, particularly small island developing States.
In this context, I count on the development banks here to commit to restructuring debt in order to redirect it to climate adaptation and resilience in the small island developing States.
As the Secretary-General noted during his recent trip to the Bahamas, “science is telling us: this is just the start. Without urgent action, climate disruption is only going to get worse.”
I look forward to continuing working with all of you to accelerate the scaling-up of solutions and to ensure adequate and predictable finance to effectively implement the Paris Agreement, especially in our small island developing States and least developed countries.