Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to everyone.
On behalf of the Green Climate Fund, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the invitation to the Placencia Ambition Forum.
The COVID-19 pandemic – and its unprecedented impact on human lives, societies and economies – highlights the interlinkages between people, planet and prosperity; reveals our extreme vulnerability to global crises and underscores the importance of acting urgently and collectively to solve interlinked threats to people and our planet.
Worldwide, millions of jobs have been lost because of the Covid-19 crisis and millions more are at risk without public support. As national, global and financial leaders consider stimulus measures to revive economies, the world is at a major turning point, with either a rare opportunity for a global course correction that will accelerate the shift to low carbon more resilient societies, or entrench our dependence on fossil fuels and increase our vulnerability to future crises.
These choices that we make today will have consequences for generations to come, and particularly for the most vulnerable communities. Developing countries will suffer the greatest human toll and economic damage from the global Covid-19 crisis and the climate crisis.
SIDS have historically played a critical role in climate negotiations to raise global ambition. Their leadership is needed more than ever to ensure that we swiftly act to protect the most vulnerable and at- risk communities across the globe who face the double burden of the COVID crisis and the effects of climate change.
The Green Climate Fund is a partnership organization. With its partners, the GCF has built a strong portfolio of 129 projects worth a total value of USD 20 billion in 108 countries. Of this, 27 projects address climate change threats in SIDS with a total value of about USD 2 billion. In terms of thematic allocation, 51% of GCF funding is for adaptation and 49% mitigation.
The GCF will continue to support job-generating climate investments which are essential to preventing, responding to, and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, including climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, and climate resilient agriculture to preserve livelihoods and foster ecosystems restoration.
The GCF will also focus on access to finance for small and medium enterprises and local governments to promote community level socio-economic benefits from climate action and is ready to assist partners in developing green stimulus measures.
GCF will work with its partners to pilot innovative financial structuring to ensure that these green stimulus measures do not compound the debt burden faced by too many SIDS. This could include a greater reliance on grant, guarantees and equity than concessional debt to de-risk projects and catalyze finance.
In parallel, GCF is working with its partners on a series of measures to provide some additional flexibility in the implementation of its portfolio to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a collaborative manner. We are also exploring options to simplify programming modalities and preparing project development tools to accelerate access to GCF resources.
We look forward to the results of the Placencia Ambition Forum to inform our contribution to green economic stimulus and keep climate ambition alive.