ED’s intervention at Plenary Session

  • Event
    4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Publication date 30 May 2024

Excellencies, Esteemed Colleagues, Dear Friends, 

I am truly honored to represent the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the SIDS4 conference and to engage in person with all the delegates from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and important partner countries. 

We are here to listen to SIDS and better understand how the GCF and international community can support you in responding to the climate shocks that are consistently impacting you, and to secure human dignity and prosperity for your people.

Let me begin by thanking the government of Antigua and Barbuda for hosting this conference and their hospitality.

Additionally, I join the international community in extending heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Papua New Guinea as they grapple with the aftermath of the recent devastating landslides. We mourn the lives lost and stand with you in this time of tragedy.

At the Green Climate Fund, we recognise the unique needs of SIDS and the urgent need for a financial architecture, which we are part of, that is fit for purpose.

GCF recognises the significant gap in adaptation finance and is helping tackle it by requiring 50 per cent of its resources to be allocated to support the adaptation needs of countries. And within that mandate, we are ensuring priority be given to SIDS, Least Developed Countries, and Africa.

We have heard the call for making concessional, grant-based finance available to SIDS without restrictions based on income level. The Green Climate Fund was founded on the principle of providing access to resources regardless of income, and SIDS can access GCF resources unconditionally.

In the past eight years, we have committed USD 1.6 billion to support the aspirations of SIDS, which is four times what they receive from other sources of finance. We are also addressing capacity constraints through our Readiness Programme, dedicating one-third of its resources to SIDS, around USD 210 million, to help them strengthen institutions, policies, and enabling environments.

Our finance directly supports over 45 national and regional entities, many of which had never received climate finance previously, such as the Development Bank of Jamaica and the Development Bank of Fiji. We are also helping create new institutions such as the newly established Blue Green Bank of Barbados. 

This is real progress, but we know we need to go much further. We need to simplify access to our resources and contribute to a more fit-for-purpose financial architecture.

Last year, at the Climate Ambition Summit, I introduced a new vision for the Green Climate Fund called "50by30" to manage a larger envelope of resources with maximum efficiency and impact.

With this vision in mind, we are doubling down on supporting the most vulnerable, mobilizing private capital, streamlining our processes, and prioritising ambitious programs and partnerships over project-by-project transactions.

We are also engaged in broader efforts to enhance the climate finance architecture. We are convening the multilateral climate funds to promote complementarity and coherence so that we can operate more as a system and respond to a crisis with tailor-made interventions that deliver speed and scale.

We recognise the debt circumstances of countries and are exploring ways to scale up debt-for-climate swaps globally, building on work underway in Barbados.

During our recent replenishment, we received pledges totaling around USD 13 billion, a 30 per cent increase from the previous round, thanks to countries that raised their ambition. This increase is critical for delivering our new vision.

The unique and catalytic role of the type of finance provided by the GCF is essential in the broader financial system. As we discuss the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance this year, it is crucial to consider all these elements as a system and collectively raise our level of ambition.

We have heard SIDS' call for change, and we are committed to working with you and all relevant partners to ensure we have a system and a fund that are adequate and fit-for-purpose to address the scale of the crisis we face.

Thank you.