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COP28 and IMF assert the need to scale up climate finance

Only 20% of clean tech investment is going to developing countries that make up over 70% of the global population.

COP28 and IMF assert the need to scale up climate finance
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Fast Company Middle East]

The urgent need to “accelerate climate action and finance” was discussed by UAE COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Co-Chairman of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, Mark Carney, hosted at the IMF in Washington on Wednesday. 

Other participants in the roundtable discussion included representatives from governments, international financial institutions, development banks, philanthropic organizations, and private financial institutions committed to net zero. 

In a joint statement, Dr. Al Jaber, Georgieva, and Carney said that scaling up climate finance is vital. “Climate change is one of the most critical macroeconomic and financial policy challenges that IMF members face in coming decades. Capital is among the most important enablers of climate action, but not enough is getting to the people and places that need it most.”

They said there’s a need for a major shift to harness public and private financing. This includes “more concessional finance” to lower risk and drive private sector finance to emerging and developing countries. In addition, public and private sectors must finance the energy transition, including scaling clean energy and the managed phase-out of fossil fuels on an accelerated time frame. 

Dr. Al Jaber said capital and finance are important enablers of climate action and sustainable economic development. However, he points out that more is needed to reach the people and places most in need. 

“Only 20% of cleantech investment is going to developing countries that make up over 70% of the global population, and the least developed countries receive less than 2 cents on every dollar spent,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “Behind every number, there are individual lives, people, and communities who should have the right to fulfill their potential and contribute to sustainable global prosperity.”

“The world needs to triple the amount of money by 2030 available for cleantech investment, adaptation finance, and a just energy transition in emerging and developing countries,” he added.

Meanwhile, Georgieva emphasized collaboration’s significance: “Stronger cooperation and partnerships across the public and private sector are vital – there is no time to waste.”

The panel discussed many measures for countries to introduce more robust climate policies. This includes having better policy and regulatory frameworks to support private capital mobilization and encourage more investors, especially in emerging and developing economies; identifying obstacles hindering private sector climate finance; better reforms to help strengthen countries’ macroeconomic and balance of payments stability by reducing risks associated with climate change. 

They also suggested innovative financing instruments to scale up private investment in emerging and developing economies. 

Global climate finance almost doubled in the last decade, with a cumulative $4.8 trillion in climate finance committed between 2011-2020, according to a report by the Climate Policy Initiative. 

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