IMF, UN urge massive investment in energy transition to buoy climate resilience  


By Clara Nwachukwu, Washington DC

Countries of the world were yesterday urged to invest massively in emissions reduction to boost climate resilience.

Further, private financiers are encouraged to substantially accommodate “more concessional finance that can lower risk and drive private sector finance more efficiently to emerging and developing countries.”  

These were among the advice given yesterday by the co-chairs of a roundtable discussion hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to discuss actions needed to urgently accelerate climate action and finance at the ongoing World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC.  

The co-chairs included the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva; COP28 President-Designate, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber; and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Co-Chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Mark Carney.

Participants at the roundtable included representatives from governments, international financial institutions, development banks, philanthropic organizations, and private financial institutions committed to net zero.

The co-chairs noted that climate change is one of the most critical macroeconomic and financial policy challenges that IMF members face in coming decades.

“Capital is among the most important enablers of climate action, but not enough is getting to the people and places that need it most,” they added in a joint statement.

Specifically, they charged both the public and private sectors to finance all components of the energy transition, including both the scaling of clean energy and the managed phaseout of fossil fuels on an accelerated time frame.

“To achieve this objective, all countries need robust climate policies that accelerate the green transition, and stronger mechanisms to promote cooperation and risk-sharing among stakeholders.

“For example, improved policy, regulatory, technological and information frameworks and financial toolkits could support private capital mobilization, and broaden the investor base, especially in emerging and developing economies,” they said.

Climate change is one of the most critical macroeconomic and financial policy challenges that IMF members face in coming decades.

COP28 acceleration

Participants identified areas of work within their respective mandates to be accelerated on the road to COP 28.These include:

  • making the investment environment more conducive to climate finance;
  • identifying specific obstacles that impede private sector climate finance;
  • proposing reforms to help strengthen countries’ macroeconomic and balance of payments stability by reducing risks associated with climate change; and,
  • using innovative financing instruments to scale up private investment in emerging and developing economies.

They also agreed to continue to collaborate between now and COP28 in Dubai, and beyond to define and implement specific measures toward shared goals.

Participants also believe that working together would help scale up climate finance so the trillions of dollars that are needed can become available as fast as possible.

“We must find pathways to accelerate the partnership between public and private finance to meet climate goals,” they added.

IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, said: “The impacts of global warming are already destroying lives and livelihoods, so we need a step change in our financing approach to redirect trillions of dollars towards meeting the climate challenge. To get there, stronger cooperation and partnerships across the public and private sector are vital – there is no time to waste.”

UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and GFANZ Co-Chair, Mark Carney, said: “To ensure that the impact of the net-zero revolution underway in private finance benefits all countries, we need a more efficient and effective multilateral financial architecture. I salute the leadership of Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-Designate of COP28, on this imperative, and look forward to partnering with them and other stakeholders to deliver progress this year.”

COP28 President-Designate, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, said: “Capital and finance are among the most important enablers of climate action and sustainable economic development, but not enough is getting to the people and places that need it most. For vulnerable communities, across the global south, climate finance is nowhere near available, affordable, or accessible enough.

“Only 20 percent of clean tech investment is going to developing countries that make up over 70 percent of the global population, and the least developed countries receive less than 2 cents on every dollar spent.

“Behind every number there are individual lives, people and communities who should have the right to fulfil their potential and contribute to sustainable global prosperity.

“The world needs to triple the amount of money by 2030 that is available for clean tech investment, adaptation finance, and a just energy transition in emerging and developing countries. We need to urgently consider fundamental reform to achieve both climate and development goals.

“We need substantially more concessional finance that can lower risk in lower income countries and attract private capital at a multiple. And we need to explore new instruments to drive private sector finance more effectively and more efficiently to emerging and developing states.”

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