Global Financial Institutions Must Facilitate Access to Low-Cost Finance for All Climate Vulnerable States, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Arab Regional Forum

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the to the Arab Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in Beirut today:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the twenty-seventh United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt must be a meeting on implementation.  It must deliver concrete results for developing countries in the Arab region and around the world.

Today, I would like to highlight three priorities for swift progress on the initiatives that will be presented during this forum.

First, all projects must be bankable, and must respond to country-driven priorities and plans that help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement.

In the Middle East, States need urgent support from to ensure water and food security, and to invest in low-emissions technology to enhance resilience and enable a just and inclusive transition to renewable energy.  Investments are also needed in robust social protection and decent job creation programmes, as a matter of moral and economic urgency.

Second, climate finance should be equally allocated and support mitigation and adaptation goals.  I hope COP27 will see serious discussions around loss and damage resulting from climate-related disasters.  This includes expanding access to low-cost lending across the board to support investments adaptation and the renewable energy transition, as well as debt relief for climate vulnerable, middle-income countries, and scaling-up common-sense solutions like disaster clauses in debt contracts, allowing the suspension of repayments in case of hurricanes, floods or earthquakes.

Innovative financial instruments can also help, including initiatives such as the Climate/SDG Debt Swap-Donor Nexus put forward by the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA).

Excellencies, third and finally, countries must make good on their commitments.  Developed countries must demonstrate how they will meet their commitment to delivering $100 billion annually and double adaptation finance to $40 billion, as agreed at the twenty-sixth United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Specifics on targets and timelines will be the litmus test for the $100 billion pledge as the cornerstone of trust in the multilateral process.  International financial institutions, multilateral development banks must also play their part.  They must overhaul their models, including by going beyond GDP [gross domestic product] to facilitate access to low-cost finance and debt relief to all climate vulnerable countries, and increasing their risk appetite to mobilize trillions from the private sector.  For without the private sector, we will fail.

Excellencies, in closing, I want to highlight the importance of acting with the urgency and scale needed.  Now is the time to commit and demonstrate the power of concerted action.  I thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.