The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Annual Spring Sessions were held in April in Washington DC during which different topics were developed including climate change. UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, was part in several events during the meetings along with World Bank President, Jim Yong King, and the Head of IMF, Christine Lagarde.
In this context, Ban Ki-Moon highlighted that financing will be a key factor for the creation and introduction of a post-2015 development agenda in relation to climate change. He emphasized that both private and public sectors will have to cooperate to create incentives and normative frameworks so as to promote and encourage long-term sustainable development.
Particularly, during climate-specific meetings, they discussed how to mobilize the billion dollars that will be necessary globally to cope with climate change, including setting up a price for carbon and promoting the gradual elimination of fossil fuel subsidies in order to release and increase public funds. Strategies were also discussed as to how investment groups and central banks could promote greater investments in low-carbon development.
During another meeting, Swedish Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson, described the way her country introduced a carbon emission tax and how, in time, it resulted in economic growth.
Likewise, participants from different panels agreed on the same direction, that is, the fact that having 169 countries achieve 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is quite an ambitious plan. Plus enormous amounts of financing will be required to execute the plan, and both the private and public sectors will play a key role in this financing. This is the reason why some participants emphasized that it would be better to start with a more reduced number of countries and goals.
We are five months from signing the climate agreement, and the most important institutional, economic and financing forums still ponder over which is the most suitable plant to reduce greenhouse gases and lower global temperature ceiling by 2 degrees Celsius, that is to pre-industrial times.
It is very alarming that those who are day-to-day players in this agenda are not still very clear as to how this will be undertaken, and they leave the implementation of a system that will take care of the environment to individual governments.
In the meantime we monitor the development of this subject closely while also raising awareness on it and promoting that sustainability standards are included in the development of any project with an impact on a country´s natural habitats.