Statement delivered by Ms. Alexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary of International Trade and Development for the United States Department of Treasury, United States
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE IX
16 October 2022
Ms. Alexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary of International Trade and Development for the United States Department of Treasury, United States
Thank you so much, Chair. If the environment had a voice, I fear that we may all hear a wail rather than words. A wail at the pain inflicted on human health, human life, biodiversity, food security, economic progress, and indeed peace and security. And nowhere would the wail be louder than in V20 countries.
We all face the urgent imperative of planning and implementing policy changes and investments to meet the NDCs, prepare for climate impacts, and matters the economic and social impacts to promote a just transition to low emission economy. All while dealing with high debt levels, food and fuel supply uncertainty, and the continuing impacts of COVID-19.
No single country or financial institution can create the level of change we need at the speed necessary to meet the climate crisis. We will need finance from all sources, public, private, philanthropic, as well as research and innovation for new technologies to accelerate the transition.
And let me be unequivocal here. Climate and development action will progress together or fail together. His Excellency from Costa Rica said we need development at peace with the environment. Indeed, as the Chair said, Secretary Yellen outlined in collaboration with many countries, including Germany and the U.K., and thank you Rachel and Jürgen, a vision for the evolution of the multi-lateral development banks to make them more fit to address global challenges like climate and to consider how grant and concessional resources might be used to fund investments with global benefits.
She also announced a new contribution that will leverage nearly $1 billion to the Clean Technology Fund in the form of a loan that will benefit MDB climate engagement. The Treasury continues to vigorously urge the MDBs to increase their climate finance and, very importantly, including for adaptation. And to work closely with the private sector to crowd in larger scale private investment.
It is promising that concepts for de-risking investments and blended finance are gaining attention, and we welcome the development of more financial arrangements and innovative structures. However, while de-risking investments can crowd in private finance to early-stage investments that are poised to generate profits, we will need different tools for investments that benefit broader populations without generating financial returns or that aims to scale the impact of proven investments.
Further, we will need to remove the institutional and regulatory barriers to investments that might create more impenetrable barriers than risk alone. The U.S. will continue to work to improve the broad array of financial instruments to better support the necessary investments and policy actions and to allow for more collaboration to deliver a coherent and comprehensive financial toolkit.
If the environment had a voice, I think she might urge us to act quickly, to act collaboratively, and collectively and multilaterally, as His Excellency from Timor-Leste said. And to act with the full awareness of the depth of the exponential crisis that we are all facing. But also, for the optimism that when human imagination is coupled with politic will, the impossible becomes possible. Thank you.