Finance ‘Essential to Supercharge Shift’ from Fossil Fuel Age to Resilient Economies Powered by Renewables, Secretary-General Tells Ministers

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Coalition of Finance of Ministers for Climate Action, in Washington, D.C. today:

Excellencies, friends, climate disasters are economic disasters.  As finance ministers, you know that all too well.

Storms, floods, fires and droughts are decimating economies around the world.  Funds that should be building roads, educating children, and curing the sick are being swallowed up by the climate crisis.  Yet you know that without action, today’s costs will seem like small change.

We can still avert the very worst of climate chaos by limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C.  But only if we act now.

It is vital that all countries come forward with new and ambitious national climate action plans — or nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — by next year.  These plans should align with the 1.5°C limit, covering all emissions and the whole economy, and reflect national circumstances.  And they should map a just pathway to phase out fossil fuels and embrace the benefits of renewable energy.

Finance ministers are vital in designing national climate plans that support national development plans and double as national investment plans — spurring sustainable development.  And you are key to mobilizing finance for NDCs and to developing policies and regulations to support their implementation — policies that provide investors with clarity and certainty:  From an effective carbon price to ending fossil fuel subsidies.

I warmly welcome the Coalition’s Call to Action on involving finance ministers in NDCs.  And I urge you to help fix our financial system — to enable maximum ambition and maximum justice.

We need developed countries to keep their promises on finance — including on adaptation.

We need significant contributions to the new loss and damage fund, and a strong finance outcome from COP29 [twenty-ninth UN Climate Change Conference] this year.

And we need innovative financial instruments, adequate capitalization and reform of the business model of multilateral development banks to increase their lending potential and to mobilize far more private finance.

Excellencies, the end of the fossil fuel age is coming.  It is unstoppable.  But finance is essential to supercharge the shift and seize the benefits of resilient economies powered by renewables.

The world is counting on you to lead the charge.  Together, let’s keep working for the ambitious climate action that people and planet deserve.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.