Climate and Development Ministerial, 31 March 2021

 

Remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, 31 March 2021

Dear Ministers,

To address global climate challenges, we must support developing countries to achieve a sustainable transition to meet net-zero emission targets and climate resilience.

There are a number of core principles the OECD believes must be met.

First, the transition must deliver development progress, promoting better growth, better jobs, and well-being for all.

Second, access to finance is a key priority. Donors need to urgently step up their efforts to support developing countries to respond to the immediate effects of the pandemic and to integrate climate actions into each country’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

15 trillion have been channelled to the battle against the virus. Total ODA is 153 billion. And only a fraction goes to fight climate change. We can do better. We need to do better. We must do better!

This must include support for the transition to renewable energy. Financing for low-emitting and climate resilient infrastructure and activities is essential to avoid locking countries into development pathways that will exacerbate vulnerability to climate change or create stranded assets and debt distress.

The third crucial element is transparency, key to increase international support. Since 2015, the OECD has measured developed countries’ progress towards the goal of mobilising USD 100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.

But we most move from the billions to the trillions and that can only be done with the participation of the private sector.

To support net-zero climate objectives, the OECD is developing climate-related indicators to track countries’ progress as they recover from the COVID-19 crisis. And we are working on a new proposal for an International Programme for Action on Climate (IPAC), to help countries to reach their longer-term climate goals.

But to make real progress, we must put a “big fat price on carbon”. Without it, our efforts will fail. Today, 70% of emissions are not taxed. That is self-defeating.

Among other actions, we must make coal a thing of the past.

Ministers, count on the OECD! Our single most important intergenerational responsibility is to protect the planet.

Thank you.

 

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