ECLAC urges the international community to work harder and better to eliminate global asymmetries in climate change finance and resilience

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena urged the international community today to work harder and better to eliminate global asymmetries in climate change finance and resilience , during a side event at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We welcome recent commitments to reduce methane emissions, stop deforestation, finance cleaner energy infrastructure and internalize climate risks in the operations of financial institutions, including the IMF. resilience to change ”, underlined the senior United Nations official during a virtual event entitled“ Climate finance and trade to build resilience to climate change ”.

The highest authority of ECLAC participated in the opening panel of this event, alongside Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC); and Courtenay Rattray, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). The panel was moderated by Jean-Paul Adam, Director of Climate Change, Natural Resource Management and Technology at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

In her remarks, Alicia Bárcena underscored the urgent need to redistribute global liquidity to all vulnerable countries in need, regardless of their income level, to enable a climate resilient recovery. This includes the recycling of recently allocated Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to establish a trust fund that would support middle income countries, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in particular, to finance investment for development projects. sustainable.

“We welcome the call by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, to issue SDR 500 billion per year for 20 years, or $ 10,000 billion for climate action,” she said. declared.

She also underlined the importance of reforming the global debt architecture and supporting innovative instruments to improve debt repayment capacity and build resilience. This includes debt swaps for climate change and the establishment of a Caribbean Resilience Fund, as well as hurricane clauses, which are expected to become a more systematic feature of debt relief initiatives for women and men. vulnerable countries, she said.

“ECLAC also proposes the creation of a multilateral rating agency to complement and counterbalance the current oligopoly of private rating agencies. The intensification of climate vulnerability appears as a new cause of downgrading, increasing the cost of capital for companies. developing countries when they need it most, “stressed the Executive Secretary of ECLAC.

The senior official also called for greater international cooperation in order to spend better and in a greener way.

“We need to increase funding for adaptation: Multilateral funds still channel six times more to mitigation than adaptation initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, while carbon pricing is essential for climate action, we fear that carbon-related taxes and access These criteria could hamper international trade and create additional asymmetries between developed and developing economies, ”he said. she warned.

Finally, Alicia Bárcena pointed out that according to ECLAC estimates, only 2.3% of pandemic recovery spending in the region has been spent on low carbon projects.

However, she concluded, “rather than restricting market access, we call for increased international cooperation on green technologies, capacity and, of course, finance, to improve both resilience and the green transition of the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean “.

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