Grynspan: Book Launch “Catalyzing Climate Finance – A UNDP Guidebook”

19 May 2011

Opening Remarks
Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator
United Nations Development Programme
Book Launch “Catalyzing Climate Finance – A UNDP Guidebook”
May 19, 2011, 1:15 – 2:30pm
Conference Room A, North Lawn Building

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Colleagues and friends,

I sincerely thank you for joining us for the launch of this UNDP Guidebook on “Catalyzing Climate Finance”. I know that all of you have very busy schedules, and we greatly appreciate your presence here today.

Climate change affects all aspects of life and, if not properly addressed, it could stall, or even reverse, hard-won human development gains.

Helping developing countries to advance human development in a changing climate is therefore one of UNDP’s principal goals. This is reflected in the fact that Environment and Energy is our third largest practice with more than one-thousand multi-million dollar projects in over 140 countries.

Apart from the expected increase in mean global temperatures and extreme weather events, climate change also brings about increased uncertainties about future climate conditions and development options. While we know that our climate will change over the long-term, the short to medium-term fluctuation may be less clear. A major challenge will therefore be to identify development strategies robust to a wide range of possible climate outcomes.

An important part of UNDP’s work in this field is thus to support developing countries to mainstream environmental concerns into development policies and investments, and to formulate, finance, and implement green, low emission, and climate resilient strategies.

Throughout our work, one of the main principles is the promotion of country ownership and the alignment of our programmes and projects with national priorities. This is critical, not only for the achievement of successful results, but also for developing the much needed synergies between environment and development finance.

It is true that the sums involved in a shift to a low carbon and climate resilient economy are daunting: the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the additional annual investment cost required to finance clean energy development will be 500 billion dollar per year on average from now to 2030.

These are, however, not impossible to achieve. Without doubt public funding is a key element in this equation, but public funding alone will be insufficient to adequately transform economies. So it needs to play a critical role in creating an environment conducive to catalyzing larger scale private investment.

UNDP’s global presence, expertise in capacity development, and extensive development finance experience allow us to help countries in this process, by supporting them to develop the capacities to attract and drive investments towards sustainable human development. 

As a part of these efforts, I am pleased to launch today UNDP’s new Guidebook “Catalyzing Climate Finance – A Guidebook on Policy and Financing Options to Support Green, Low-emission and Climate-resilient Development Strategies”.

We believe that this guidebook is coming out at a critical moment, now when new sources of public climate finance are both becoming more available and are also leveraging increasingly larger volumes of private resources.

In the absence of effective capacity building and appropriate advisory services, however, there is a significant risk that only a few emerging economies will fully benefit from these positive developments. By some estimates around ninety per cent of investments in clean energy go to the G20 countries and the remaining ten per cent go to the rest of the world.

At UNDP, we believe that developing countries will face three key climate finance challenges in the coming decade:

  • The access to the new and innovative sources of climate finance;
  • The promotion of synergies between climate finance and development objectives and;
  • How to effectively use limited sources of public finance to catalyze other sources of capital.

This Guidebook is offered as a UNDP contribution to assist the public development practitioner at the national and sub-national levels to address these three challenges.

In a flexible and non-prescriptive manner, it offers detailed step-by-step guidance on how to select and deploy an optimal mix of public policies and financing instruments, to access and catalyze climate finance in line with national development priorities.

This Guidebook is part of a series of manuals and toolkits that draw upon the experience and information generated by UNDP’s support for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in some 140 countries over the past decade.

These publications, available online, are intended to enable decision makers and project managers in developing countries to acquaint themselves with a wide variety of methodologies aimed at supporting the preparation and implementation of green, low-emission and climate-resilient development strategies.

I am certain that these publications, and the Guidebook we are launching today, will prove to be of great use to policy makers in their important tasks of finding and implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change while pursuing national development goals.

Thank you.

About Rebeca Grynspan

Rebeca Grynspan was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective 1 February, 2010. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan was elected Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.

View her full bio here