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COP28 Director-General Calls for Climate Finance Reform at WBG-IMF Annual Meetings

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COP28 Director-General Calls for Climate Finance Reform at WBG-IMF Annual Meetings
COP28 Director-General Calls for Climate Finance Reform at WBG-IMF Annual Meetings

MARRAKESH, 16th October, 2023 (WAM) — Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, attended the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings in Marrakesh, where he reiterated the importance of climate finance reform to support developing nations.

The COP28 Presidency has repeatedly called for climate finance to be mobilized at speed and scale from all sources to reach the most vulnerable. This was reiterated during the meetings through continued calls for international financial institutions (IFIs) to scale up concessional finance for developing countries and for multilateral development banks (MDBs) to work better together to establish a fit-for-purpose system to help build the financial architecture of the future.

“We are pleased to see greater momentum made on MDB reforms this year and continue to call on MDBs to come together and deliver ambitious outcomes at COP28,” said Ambassador Al Suwaidi. “If we are to achieve our key goal of keeping 1.5C within reach, we will need more extensive reform of the international financial infrastructure. We need IFIs and MDBs to incentivize private capital with adequate concessional funds to unlock the trillions of dollars we will need for effective climate action.”

The COP28 Presidency also welcomed the joint report released by MDBs showing nearly $100 billion was delivered for adaptation and mitigation climate finance in 2022, with half of this going to low-income and middle-income economies. In addition to this, the COP28 Presidency also appreciated the joint statement by MDB Presidents committing to work together for greater action in the future.

To mobilize funds for better mitigation and adaptation efforts, the COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber will convene a meeting with MDB presidents in a few weeks.
The COP28 Presidency welcome the WBG’s inclusion of climate change into their vision and mission to create a world free of extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity on a liveable planet.

This year’s Annual Meetings, held from 9-15 October, were the first to be held in Africa since 1973.

“I would like to thank Morrocco for hosting such a well-organized event. Bringing these meetings to Africa for the first time in half a century represents a significant moment for the international finance community which has all too often been slow to recognize the continent’s financial needs and to support nations here with the needed levels of capital,” Al Suwaidi said. “While global clean-tech investment will reach a record US$1.7 trillion this year, only 2 percent will reach Africa, with the continent facing an annual infrastructure investment gap of US$100 billion.”

The COP28 Presidency supported the achievement of fundraising targets for the IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which provides highly concessional financing to low-income countries. In Marrakech, the UAE made a contribution of US$200 million to the IMF PRGT to support the development needs of low-income countries.

During the Annual Meetings, Al Suwaidi met with the heads of the WBG, the IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the African Development Bank (ADB), representatives from the Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance (IHLEG), and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) to discuss cooperation for MDB reform ahead of COP28.

The Director-General also spoke at the Government of Morocco-hosted ‘A Resilient Future for Africa: Sustainable Finance in Service of Climate Initiatives.’ The high-level event, held on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings, where he again emphasized the importance of finance to support climate initiatives, particularly in Africa, where over 600 million people still have no access to electricity.

“Fast-tracking funding for renewable energy is key to unlocking the continent’s growth potential,” Al Suwaidi said. “To do this we need financing. And we need this financing to be affordable, accessible and available. At the moment, it is none of these.”

The UAE launched a US$4.5 billion clean energy initiative at the Africa Climate Summit in September to finance the development of 15 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030 – “but still we need more,” Al Suwaidi said.

“We are also calling for bigger and better multilateral development banks. We need MDBs to come together at COP28 to jointly launch ambitious country platforms,” he said. “These platforms will enable a shift from the current project-by-project approach to a programmatic approach, which can produce a transformational global change.”

The COP28 Presidency is supporting calls from the Nairobi Declaration from the Africa Climate Summit for a Global Charter on Climate Finance and has commissioned a high-level group to “lay the foundation of this new vision – a new global framework on climate finance,” Al Suwaidi told attendees.

The Director-General also spoke at the 11th Ministerial Dialogue of the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change – to reiterate the COP28 Presidency’s support for increased climate funding, especially for climate-vulnerable nations.

“The issues of climate change are compounded and complicated by conflict, fragility, and a lack of financing,” he said at the event. “Our Presidency understands that addressing the needs of the V20 requires a holistic, multi-faceted approach. We need to pull together governments, NGOs, the private sector, the public sector, international organizations and multilateral development banks.”

Throughout the Annual Meetings, Al Suwaidi also met with ministers from a range of countries, including the US, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and the UK.

The COP28 Presidency also welcomed the report of the G20 MDB Expert group commissioned by the Indian Presidency, which was released in Marrakech. The report lays out a set of important recommendations and establishes the right level of ambition for climate and development, which shareholders and MDBs must now work together to implement.


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