Statement delivered by Mr. Manish Bapna, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE X
16 April 2023
Mr. Manish Bapna, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Over the past 2-1/2 hours today, we’ve heard an incredible number of very compelling proposals. Many of them contained in the Accra-Marrakech Agenda that are all about how we can unpack, unlock more climate and development financing, how we optimize, how we leverage, how we innovate for more capital. But the point, the one point, I want to make is I want to spotlight the real difference between this conversation happening today in the world of policy from the conversation that needs to happen in the world of politics particularly in high income countries. That the boldest reforms that we want to see take forward require politics, political support, political muscle in rich countries to unlock the reforms and the resources necessary to move this conversation forward.
Here we sit at the IMF in Washington, D.C. Two miles away is the U.S. Capitol. Eight months ago, a big climate bill was passed, as you know, in the United States; several hundred billion dollars. And yet very limited, no support in that bill for international climate finance, very little support in general for international climate finance; although the European countries tend to be more generous, still not nearly at the scale that we need to see. That if we’re serious about moving some of these reforms forward at a level that’s commensurate with the challenge, we need to bridge this gap. This world of policy needs to meet the world of politics in high income countries. We need to build greater political muscle and as a representative from the civil society, really to look at how we, as civil society, can work with the V20 to actually change the politics in the rich world to unlock the resources and reforms we need.
I just want to close as today is kind of a day of hope, you know, my father often tells me that pessimists are right more often, but optimists win more often. And although it may seem like a daunting task, I feel quite inspired about what we can do together over the coming years.