COP28: Dr Al Jaber calls on multilateral development banks to show ‘more ambition’

Speaking a day after Pre-COP, Dr Al Jaber aligned with growing calls for reform


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 2 Nov 2023, 5:04 PM

COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber has called on multilateral development banks (MDBs) to show “more ambition” and work faster to address climate finance and development challenges.

“Addressing climate finance is a cornerstone of the COP28 Action Agenda,” he said during a virtual meeting, attended by presidents of nine of the world’s biggest development banks, and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Dr Al Jaber told the MDBs they have already made “good progress” on reform, including an endorsement by shareholders of a new vision for the World Bank, i.e. to create a world free of poverty on a liveable planet.

Dr Al Jaber underlined that with less than a month left for COP28, it was the time to show “more ambition, we need trillions, not billions. We are pushing shareholders to adequately recapitalise MDBs, but we also need MDBs to do better”.

Outlining his main asks for MDBs ahead of COP28, he said: “I have three asks for you, MDBs must work through country platforms, revise climate finance targets for coming years, and lower the risk for the private sector. MDBs must play a key role in laying the foundations for a new Framework on climate finance.”

Speaking a day after Pre-COP, Dr Al Jaber aligned with growing calls for reform. These calls include the Nairobi Declaration, launched at Africa Climate Week in September, which called for a Global Charter on Climate Finance by 2025.

Dr Al Jaber said that shifting MDB financing away from a project-by-project approach and onto country platforms was key to his presidency’s plans to improve access to climate finance, ensuring it was accessible, affordable and available.

“For this new vision to become reality, we need MDBs to work better together as a system, particularly via country platforms.”

Dr Al Jaber told the bank heads to come to COP28 with a strong joint announcement on country platforms and demonstrate the commitment to working together.

The COP28 President asked MDBs “to come to COP with revised, more ambitious joint-climate finance targets for the coming years, particularly for adaptation ─ reflecting the ambition required.”

“There is a critical need for MDBs to increase their adaptation finance ─ and scale up climate finance to cover sectors such as food, water, health, nature and biodiversity. MDBs must also step up on private finance mobilisation ─ with targets and methodologies to mobilize private finance, particularly for mitigation,” he added.

The IMF will also “have a crucial role in the delivery of climate finance,” Dr Al Jaber said, and must show “good progress” at COP28 on the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) and support the rechanneling of special drawing rights (SDRs) to MDBs.

He also called for the convening of a forum next year to assess progress on the MDB reform agenda.

“In business, I have learned that measuring progress is essential to making progress.”

Dr Al Jaber invited the MDB presidents to a high-level event on Finance Day at COP28 on international financial institution reform and commended them on their support so far.

“Today, you have demonstrated that together ─ through joint MDB action ─ we can lay the foundation of a climate finance architecture that is more fit for purpose to address climate and development.

The meeting was attended by World Bank president Ajay Banga, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva as well as Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank (NDB) and former President of Brazil. Other attendees included the presidents of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).


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