Leading int'l financial institutions commit to fight against climate change

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, December 3, 2009
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The heads of the world's leading international financial institutions Wednesday called for a comprehensive agreement to combat climate change at this month's Copenhagen Conference and agreed to further coordinate their own efforts to help achieve the meeting's ambitious goals.

In a joint statement, the leaders pledged to use their own organizations' mandates, expertise, and resources to help authorities combine with the private sector to confront the challenges of climate change and to make the best possible use of available financing.

The heads of the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund also committed their organizations to the use of technical assistance and funds to further support their environmental goals.

They recognized the primacy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in setting the targets for dealing with global environmental challenges.

An agreement in Copenhagen must provide an ambitious, comprehensive, and equitable global climate change regime beyond 2012 that enables all countries to achieve sustainable development, they said.

The institutions will coordinate with the European Commission and other partners supporting efforts by developing countries to cope with climate change.

The leaders reiterated their commitment to help developing nations adapt to climate change and to facilitate the development and transfer of climate-friendly technology and knowledge according to the needs of individual countries.

"Climate change is one of the most complex challenges of our young century. No country is immune. No country alone can take on the interconnected challenges posed by climate change, including difficult political decisions, daunting technological change, and far-reaching global consequences," said World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick.

"Changes of this magnitude will require substantial additional finance for adaptation and mitigation, and for intensified research to scale up promising approaches and explore bold ideas," said Zoellick. "It is crucial that countries integrate development needs with climate actions."

Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank, called on the world to help Africa to cope with the climate change.

"The impact of climate change on Africa is already evident," said Kaberuka, noting climate change adds a significant additional burden to existing challenges of poverty, of inadequate access to energy, water, and basic infrastructure.

"Additional resources are needed urgently to help Africa adapt, to protect its lakes and forests, and to maintain growth," he said. "Together we must rise to these challenges; the African Development Bank stands ready to play its part."

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that the global economic crisis must not distract the world from tackling the important issue of climate change.

"Sustaining the recovery and putting in place effective climate change policies can be mutually reinforcing with the right policies implemented resolutely," he said.

"Global cooperation, including among international financial institutions, will help countries to confront the challenges from climate change. These require innovative and long-term solutions, which have a part to play in supporting the recovery and sustainable growth," Strauss-Kahn said.

The IMF can assist in its areas of expertise to advise on policies and support countries that are most vulnerable to economic and climate challenges, the IMF chief noted.

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