End Support for Fossil Fuels, Prioritize Renewables Investments, Secretary-General Tells Islamic Development Bank Meeting

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Islamic Development Bank Annual Meeting, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today:

Excellencies, friends, thank you for this opportunity.

The Islamic Development Bank meets amidst a world in turmoil.  War and climate disaster are displacing millions. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the commitment to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C, are in serious danger of slipping out of reach.

Multilateral development banks have a key role to play in turning the tide:  in getting the Sustainable Development Goals back on track and massively accelerating climate action around the world.

I welcome the Islamic Development Bank’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals; your recent policy realignment; the blended finance instruments and new financing solutions you have developed; and your $4.2 billion of support for climate resilience in Pakistan after last year’s devastating floods.

However, I urge you to go further.

I have proposed the SDG Stimulus to scale up affordable long-term financing for all countries in need, to help get the SDGs back on track.

This calls on all multilateral development banks, including the Islamic Development Bank, to tackle the high cost of debt and rising risk of debt distress; to massively scale up affordable long-term financing for development; and to expand contingency financing to countries in need.

This will not only increase investment in the sustainable development goals now, mobilize more private finance, and support effective debt restructuring; it will also support our collective efforts to reform the international financial architecture.

So, I urge you to act on the SDG Stimulus; to end support for fossil fuels and prioritize renewables investments; and to work with the other multilateral development banks to reform the global financial system, so that the needs and voices of developing countries are at its heart.

Excellencies, friends.  We are at a crossroads.  Now is the time to put everything we have behind the SDGs and 1.5°C.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.