Multilateral Development Banks urged to boost climate finance to meet Paris Agreement.
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14 May 2017
Author :   Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Members of the Civil Society in Bonn : >> Image Credits by:Isaiah Esipisu

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - Multilateral Development Banks and other financing institution have been urged to boost climate finance in support of new international agreement and sustainable development pathways especially in Africa in line with the COP 21 Paris Agreement;

The call was made at climate discussions in Bonn May 13, 2017, on how Multilateral Development Banks can mobilize and deploy climate finance in developing countries to permit them carryout the different projects outlined in their NDCs.

According to Dr Stephen Singer, CAN International, multilateral banks have crucial parts to play in achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Delivering on the Paris Agreement is all about radical economic transformation and fostering sustainable, low-carbon and strong growth. Economic policy and finance, and this multilateral banks and finance ministries, will be at the core,” he said.

Experts called for a strong partnership between multilateral banks and the provide sector to be able to stand the challenges of growing urbanization and emerging markets.

“What these financial institutions do over the next two decades will determine whether we succeed or fail to deliver this global agenda.

During that time, the size of the world’s economy is likely to double, and the amount of infrastructure will probably increase by a still larger factor, with strong urbanization and growth in developing and emerging market countries,” noted Peter Bett of the Department of Business, Energy and industrial Strategy, Robert Moore UK.

According to conference participants,investments in sustainable infrastructure will not only help us to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement but will also allow the different countries meet up with the challenges to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

Gareth Philips, of the African Development Bank Group pointed out that the world is set to invest aboutUS$90 trillion in infrastructure over the next 15 years. That means spending will increase from about US$3.4 trillion per year to about US$6 trillion with most of this investment located  in developing and emerging market countries.

“If this infrastructure is not sustainable, and instead locks in high-carbon activities, the world will lose its chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of holding the rise in global mean surface temperature to well below 2 Celsius degrees above its level in the middle of the 19th century,” he said.

Sustainable infrastructure is not only low-carbon but it is also climate-resilient. It must be able to cope with the current climate and with those impacts of climate change that we cannot now avoid. And it is clean, efficient and smart.

All new infrastructure, including for energy, transport, water and communications, must be sustainable, as was emphasised by the report on ‘The Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative’ by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate in October. This is particularly true for cities and towns, which already host the majority of the world’s population.

Urbanisation is taking place at a remarkable speed. Only sustainable infrastructure can help to reduce pollution, waste and congestion, and ensure that we can live and breathe in our cities. If we get the infrastructure right, we will have resilient and inclusive towns and cities

where poor people have a chance to raise their living standards and escape from poverty. And those in rural areas will see new opportunities to move, and more will be able to access, energy, transport and water supplies.

Participants agreed that the ‘nationally determined contributions’ to the Paris Agreement can help each country to have sustainable and inclusive growth and to reduce poverty. But noted that building low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure will drive growth, and will allow countries tackle together economic development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, the two being intimately intertwined in both urban and rural areas.

“ Success in financing climate resilience projects will create huge economic opportunities. But there are also great dangers in delay and severe risks of locking in unsustainable infrastructure, said Said Chakri of the  Moroccan NDA secretariat to GCF.

“The urgent need to invest in sustainable infrastructure is a central issue for both finance ministries and for the national and regional development banks,” he added.

Experts noted that finance ministries should be concerned with growth, investment, policy and resources because only credible policies will raise finance, through both direct revenue and economic growth itself.
Mithika Mwenda of PACJA raised the issue of the absence of pre-prior consents of local communities that have never been respected by investors, citing the case of Congo Basin in Africa.

“The question is whether this is going to affect financing of projects in these areas or not.  Most of these investments are profit driven but there is need to balance investments and climate change challenges,” Mithika said.

This entails the need for consistency, clarity and credibility, creating an environment that is conducive for both investors and the indigenous communities, he added.

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