Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley emphasized that progress on climate change is constrained by policies that limit developing countries’ access to concessional funding, create disparities in the cost of capital, and restrict access to goods required to reach net zero.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, WTO, underscored that “you can have all the finance in the world, and if the trade policies are not right you will not get anywhere”.
Google committed to spend USD 1 billion to support Africa’s digital transformation.
Reimagining the financial architecture of climate action demands humane immigration and just trade policies. This was the message coming out of a side event at the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 27) on the role of the state in mobilizing and directing finance for climate and health. Speakers emphasized that finance flows remain inadequate, and that effective climate action requires investments from both the private and public sectors.
The 7 November event took place under the theme, ‘When will leaders lead?’ and constituted the opening panel of the Local Government and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Multilevel Action Pavilion at COP 27. During the event, political and economic leaders called for just trade policies and highlighted the power of equitable international financial structures in addressing global problems.
In keynote remarks, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley emphasized that progress on climate change is constrained by policies that limit developing countries’ access to concessional funding, create disparities in the cost of capital, and restrict access to goods required to reach net zero. She stated “the world has found it easy to make capital move. I don’t know how an inanimate object can have priority over a breathing person.”
During a panel discussion, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), underscored that “you can have all the finance in the world, and if the trade policies are not right you will not get anywhere.” Underscoring the “power of trade to help solve problems” such as climate change, she said diversifying supply chains will also enhance inclusivity.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, outlined three principles with respect to reforming financial structures: the responsibility of leaders to set the vision and create “mission-oriented institutions … getting finance for a purpose”; using public finance to “crowd in” private finance; and the obligation of private companies to financially contribute to those solutions.
The event was organized by the Scottish Government and University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, in collaboration with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI, the focal point of the LGMA Constituency, is convening the Multilevel Action Pavilion with more than 40 other partners during COP 27. The Pavilion’s agenda features sessions highlighting how local and regional entities around the globe can achieve effective action at multiple levels of governance.
Also on 7 November, a high-level event called for greater leadership and renewed international cooperation to support African-led adaptation efforts. The event themed, ‘Empowering a Climate-Resilient Africa for the 21st Century: Articulating Vision and Opportunity,’ took place at the COP 27 Africa Pavilion and was hosted by the President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi. Other speakers at the event included: Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe; Alar Karis, President of Estonia; and Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Industry leaders also participated, including from the Volvo Group, IBM, the International Cooper Association (ICA), and Google. ICA announced it will be launching the Grid Efficiency and Resiliency Partnership Initiative as part of their commitment to minimize grid losses in Africa, while Google has committed to spend USD 1 billion to support Africa’s digital transformation.
Representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UNEP Finance Initiative, and UNEP NGOs Major Group addressed the event as well.
The event was organized by the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment (UN-SPBF).
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) is covering selected side events at the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference in Egypt, which runs through 18 November 2022.