Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Statement at “Delivering Effective Climate and Sustainable Development Solutions”, COP 21 Side-event

Dec 7, 2015

Distinguished panellists, colleagues, guests. A warm welcome and thank you for participating in today’s discussion. We are honoured to have gathered such an exceptional panel.
Our focus is on how to maximise the impact of climate finance and align climate management and resilience to the broader sustainable development agenda.

This year’s once-in-a-generation global conferences highlight the need to move from silos to synergies: (i) the SDG Summit in New York in September, (ii) the Financing for Development conference in Addis in July, (iii) the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in March, and (iv), these talks in Paris on preserving our climate for future generations.
Our Partnership for Climate Finance and Development is, once again, bringing together the climate & development finance communities to explore how to bridge the gap between the challenges they share.

The inter-connectedness between climate and development emerged clearly from the SDG discussions. Just as ambitious an agreement under the UNFCCC will enable the achievement of the SDGs, progress towards the SDGs, particularly Goal 13, will enable more ambitious climate responses.

Failing this, climate change will lead to reduced household incomes and government revenues, and elevated public expenditures. It will exacerbate resource-based conflicts and social fragility within countries. Cambodia, for example, estimates that all of its hard-won gains in growth and reduced inequality would be offset by climate impacts by 2050 already.
Since climate and development finance are intrinsically linked, transformation to low-carbon, climate-resilient societies can only be sustainable if investments are based on the three pillars of sustainable development. A dollar invested in mitigation or adaptation should not be seen as an isolated cost.

In short, if not risk-informed, then development cannot be sustainable. Likewise, real, lasting climate solutions require innovative financing solutions that support financing for sustainable development, and vice-versa.

Resources required to meet the SDGs and keep global warming below 2°C are substantial. Multiple sources need to be tapped – including international and domestic public finance, as well as private flows. International support is critical and must demonstrate added value alongside other financial flows.

The good news is that the money is there! The bulk of resources will come from private sources and domestic budgets.
UNDP supports over 140 countries to reform regulatory frameworks, implement smart policies and incentives, improve business practices and change consumer preferences to steer investment towards more climate-friendly, inclusive development. We help put in place policies, institutions and budgetary frameworks that support climate-informed development strategies.

For example, we helped establish a feed-in tariff fund to expand rooftop solar panel installations in Mauritius. The scheme, fully subscribed, pays a premium to commercial and residential end-users, generating a sufficient return to attract investment.  

Overall, countries are increasingly using Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) that leverage public financial instruments, channelling climate finance through development banks and intermediaries offering inclusive financial products. Just to name a few examples that can lead the way: 1) Ethiopia’s Development Bank’s green credit lines; 2) the inclusive finance fund of Bangladesh’s Infrastructure Development Co. (IDCOL).

Scaling up climate action and SDG strategies—including through INDCs—entails strengthening country systems that can demonstrate transparency and accountability. This includes planning, budgeting and public financial management systems.
Better systems translate into more efficient, effective, and equitable climate finance flows—whether from domestic or international sources.

Ensuring effective climate and environmental finance also means that it must be transformational, and optimized to deliver economic, social and environmental benefit streams. This includes protecting commons such as biodiversity and health, and promoting food security, job creation, and resilience to economic and climate shocks.

Demand for country support is high. UNDP has so far supported countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia to develop more integrated financing frameworks. This has advanced more coordinated and coherent responses.

In this vein, the Partnership’s activities have played a critical role in transferring good practices.

I thank you for your attention, and look forward to learning from the rich, varied experiences that will be shared by our distinguished panellists during this session.

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