Good morning. It is a pleasure to join you today.
Thank you President Mauricio Claver-Carone for the kind invitation.
And I speak to you today from Costa Rica. A country whose national decarbonisation plan will add $41 billion to the economy.
But I know that his region is already suffering from more extreme weather events.
From devastating hurricanes to droughts threatening crops; and threats to coastal infrastructure as well.
And this shows all too clearly that the climate crisis is with us. And it’s worsening. And unless we act now, it will intensify rapidly, threatening our prosperity, our security, and our health.
As things stand, we are a long way off meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement: to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees, preferably 1.5 degrees.
And we are running out of time to do so.
COP26 has got to mark the moment where we change course. Where countries, regions, businesses, investors, financial institutions and civil society come together.
And get the world on track to make the Paris Agreement a reality.
In this, the role of finance ministries, and financial institutions, is absolutely key.
The Paris Agreement gave us the framework to tackle climate change.
The power to bring those plans to life, lies with you.
Finance is the vital ingredient that transforms good intentions into good action.
But currently there is a gap. Between the sums required and the sums available.
And we must close that gap.
I am very clear that donor countries must deliver on their commitment to raise $100billion dollars a year in international climate finance.
The UK COP Presidency is working with the private sector to mobilise private capital as well.
And at the end of March we will hold the Climate and Development Ministerial meeting, which is going to bring together ministers and international organisations to look for ways forward on issues like access to finance, and fiscal space, that make it difficult for developing countries to implement the Paris Agreement.
We are very pleased that the IDB will join us.
Multilateral Development Banks, such as the IDB, are absolutely crucial. Both in terms of their own funds, and in also of course terms of mobilising private investment.
So we need leaders, Finance Ministers and MDBs to get solidly behind climate action.
To make climate and nature a consideration in all financial decisions.
And to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Finance Ministers need to create ambitious financing strategies to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs – and adaptation plans, for example.
And to place national climate and biodiversity plans at the heart of economic and development policy.
And we would like to see other MDBs replicate the success of the IDB’s NDC Invest Programme.
Which has been so successful in supporting countries with their NDCs. And in helping to translate them into investment plans.
The human, moral and environmental case for financing climate action is irresistible.
But even if we leave that aside, the economic case is compelling.
The risk climate change poses to financial systems is very very real.
Whether through health costs from pollution, stranded assets, or indeed increased food prices.
This year, the Dasgupta Review of the Economics of Biodiversity was published.
And this showed that the destruction of nature – on which half the global economy depends – constrains the creation of value in the longer term.
But this is not just about avoiding economic harm. It is about embracing an economic good. About creating jobs and creating prosperity.
Investments in renewables can create more jobs than the equivalent in coal, oil, and gas, for example.
From low-cost renewable energy to climate resilient infrastructure. The opportunities presented by the move to clean growth are absolutely enormous.
And it has never been more important that we seize them.
As we repair the economic damage inflicted by Covid-19, our choices will determine the shape of our economies for years to come.
And I would like to acknowledge the strong support that the IDB has provided during the pandemic, possibly the greatest crisis faced by the region since the bank was established.
And though I recognise we are still in its midst, we must grasp the opportunity to build back better.
As we are doing in the UK, with our plans for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Where £12billion of public investment in wind power, carbon capture, nature, and more, will spur over three times that amount from the private sector.
Reducing our emissions, and protecting nature, while supporting quarter of a million jobs.
And I urge all finance ministers listening to do likewise and invest in green recoveries.
And all MDBs to step up their support for them.
This is particularly important in this region, which is so critical to the fight against climate change and biodiversity .
You are home to 40 percent of the world’s remaining rainforest.
I recognise the leadership we have seen from many countries in this region.
To take just a few examples, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica, have come forward with ambitious NDCs. A number of governments have signed the Leaders Pledge for Nature.
And Chile has co-founded the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.
The IDB itself has been a pioneer on climate too.
Your Nature Capital Lab is at the fore when it comes to attracting private sector investment into nature-based solutions.
You have played a major role in creating green bond markets across the whole region.
And your disaster risk finance is protecting some of the most vulnerable countries in the hemisphere.
But at this critical juncture, I urge you to go even further.
Set a date by which you will align all your activities with the Paris Agreement.
Review your position on supporting gas power generation, unless it is genuinely the only option.
Go further in mobilising private capital finance.
And increase the proportion of your funds going to climate action. Including adaptation, which delivers benefits worth up to $10 for every $1 spent.
Given your pioneering work on nature, I also urge the IDB to join other MDBs in signing a joint statement on nature at COP26.
Committing to make nature a consideration across your portfolios.
And I also invite IDB to convene and support a working group of Finance Ministers in the region.
Providing that forum to share expertise and solutions on the low carbon, resilient transition, spurring it on.
And as part of this, the UK COP26 Presidency will work with the IDB to deliver regional events throughout the year focussed on the issues most relevant to Finance Ministers.
Because with finance behind us, together we can make the Paris Agreement a reality.
Protecting people, nature and economies, and creating a safe, clean and prosperous future for us all.
- March 26, 2021 at 3:24 pm by Editor (displayed above)
- March 26, 2021 at 3:24 pm by Editor