Washington DC

17 April 2015

Secretary-General's Remarks at Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Climate Change Event [As prepared for delivery]

Thank you very much. I am grateful to all the participants, and especially to the organizers – World Bank President Kim and Managing Director Lagarde.

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.

To succeed, we must advance global progress on climate change.

I welcome leaders from the public and corporate sectors. All of you are essential to success.

We need your collaboration and bold leadership to rise to the climate challenge. This is an enormous opportunity to chart a new path.

But for Paris to succeed, it needs a finance package that covers the political, economic and policy dimensions.

First, political: We need a realistic trajectory for mobilizing the $100 billion peryear by 2020 that was pledged by developed countries in 2009– with resources above and beyond ODA.

The Green Climate Fund has to be up and running – with projects and funding ready to go. That means at least half of the pledged contributions have to be in by October.

The least developed and small island developing countries are especially vulnerable – and  need significantly larger  allocations from public funding, ODA, the Green Climate Fund and the LDC Fund. We also have to help the LDCs and SIDS tap into international markets and attract investors.

Second: economic. Companies announced $200 billion in commitments at the Climate Summit in September. Now they have to 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. 

I was pleased to see in the Financial Times this morning that many business leaders are publicly stepping up to meet the climate challenge.

They know that taking bold climate action makes good business sense, and that an ambitious global agreement is vital.

I urge 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.

Third: the 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.

Last year’s climate summit showed what is possible when we work together.

I will continue mobilizing all partners so that we can bring all three dimensions together in a comprehensive finance package for Paris.

Since we are in Washington, DC, let me close with the words of former Vice President Al Gore. At the United Nations in September, he said: “All we need is political will. But political will is a renewable resource.”

Thank you.