Guterres urges public development banks to ‘green their balance sheets’


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged public development banks to do more to “green the balance sheet”.

In a video message to the Finance in Common 2021 summit in Rome on Wednesday, he said: “You are the spearhead of the green bond market – now is the time to do more to green the balance sheet,” the agency reported. Xinhua press.

“With your reach from global to local, public development banks are essential partners as we seek to better recover from the pandemic,” said Guterres.

He stressed that the joint declaration of all public development banks at the first Finance in Common summit last year was a strong signal of intention.

“Today, I ask you to turn that vision into concrete, time-bound goals and plans to align your operations and policies with the 2030 Agenda and keep the 1.5 degree Celsius target close at hand.

“We need to fully integrate a forward-looking and preventive perspective into our work and build resilience to future shocks.

“We must achieve universal social protection by 2030; ensure that macroeconomic and labor policies work in tandem to support a just transition, and invest heavily in job creation and retraining programs that expand opportunities for women and better prepare young people ”, said the General secretary.

Guterres noted that their support for the Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection is essential to help ensure a more equitable recovery and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Your financing decisions can either anchor developing countries into high-emission, fossil-fuel-dependent development paths with a high risk of stranded assets being blocked, or facilitate the transition to renewable economies.

“This is especially true in the context of a recovery from Covid-19, where developing countries are battling the triple crisis of pandemic, debt and climate.

“This means phasing out all funding related to fossil fuels starting immediately with coal and redirecting those investments to renewables to ensure universal access to electricity,” the secretary-general said, urging them to increase funding. to support adaptation and build resilience to at least 50 percent of total public climate finance.

“I also urge you to make the disclosure of climate risks mandatory, in line with the recommendations of the Working Group on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

“We need a stronger, more integrated and networked multilateral system – with public development banks as central actors,” Guterres added.

(With IANS inputs)

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