President Khurelsukh: Mongolia has decided to annually spend up to 1 percent of GDP to combat climate change and desertification

2023-06-14 10:18:52

Ulaanbaatar, June 14, 2023 /MONTSAME/. President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa delivered the opening remarks at the “Green Finance - International Forum".  We present the full transcript of the President’s speech:


Distinguished guests,


Ladies and gentlemen,


Good day to you all!


We have gathered here today to discuss the ways to reduce the negative effects of climate change, which has become the most difficult challenge humanity faces, and to deliberate on ways to increase our efforts to battle climate change and to find solutions to finance planned projects and programs.


Climate change has a strong impact on the security of human existence with scientists, researchers, world leaders and international communities paying special attention to this issue. Although, every country is trying to fulfill its goals, obligations and commitments, the negative effects of climate change are continuing to intensify.


Numerous studies consistently demonstrate that since pre-industrial levels for over the last 170 years, the average global temperature has risen by 1.09 percent as well as other negative impacts including loss of global biodiversity.


Moreover, from heatwaves in Europe and wildfires in North America, to droughts in Africa and floods in Asia: last year saw climate disasters on all five continents.


In meantime, world economy shows a rocky recovery.


According to the IMF, global growth is projected to decelerate from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.8 percent in 2023. In particular, the slowdown in the Euro Area is even more pronounced.


Despite the recent drop in energy prices, energy security concerns will continue to loom large. This speaks to the importance of the green transition and green development.


Therefore, despite the world facing the many social, economic and geopolitical challenges and difficulties, we must intensify our efforts to protect the environment and reduce the negative effects of climate change.


In other words, we need higher ambition, stronger policies, and more finance for implementation.


Therefore, the last point we will focus during this forum.


Despite the fact that the world is making efforts to reduce the negative effects of climate change, many issues remain to be resolved in terms of how to finance these efforts and policies.


Increasing climate finance is critical to not only mitigating the negative impacts of climate change, but also to increasing resilience and fostering sustainable and inclusive global development trends.


As of today, we are seeing only around 630 billion dollars a year in climate finance across the whole world according to the IMF report.


However, in order to fully reach the goals under the Paris Agreement and the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, trillions of funds are needed every year.


For instance, the latest study by the London School of Economics shows that developing countries (other than China)’ annual investment in climate action needs to increase immediately, from about $500 billion in 2019 to $2.4 trillion by 2030.


Financing should go toward accelerating the energy transformation, increasing investments in resilience to protect lives and livelihoods protecting people's livelihoods against the increasingly devastating effects of climate change, enhancing biodiversity and conserve the ecosystems, and building capacity of countries to effectively combat climate change.


Thus, countries cannot singlehandedly overcome the challenges that the humanity faces.

To deliver on our shared climate goals, we must combine policy reforms, capacity development, and financing arrangements. What we need today is unprecedented cooperation and coordination.


Distinguished guests,


Mongolia, which has an extreme continental climate, is one of the countries most affected by climate change. Specifically, over the last 80 years, its temperatures have risen by 2.25 percent, which is twice the world average.


In Mongolia, 77 percent or 120 million hectares of the Mongolian territory is affected by desertification.


In addition, the number of annual natural disasters has more than doubled over the last 25 years, and weather-related disasters affect 8 percent of Mongolians every year and cost 0.6 percent of GDP annually in damages, in average.


The countries of the world have determined their share in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and in this context, more than 70 countries have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.


Although  Mongolia’s GHG emissions are small in absolute terms (0.1 percent of global GHG emissions), Mongolia has consistently supported the international community's efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and has been making its due contribution.


For example, Mongolia set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 27.2 percent by 2030, and at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change expressed its policy and objective to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


In order to meet the above policies and objectives, Mongolia is implementing them in the domestic policies and action plans of the key social and economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and health.


In this context, the President of Mongolia initiated national movements such as "One Billion Trees", "Food Supply and Security", and "Healthy Mongolians" and these are being implemented implemented throughout the country. I am pleased to inform you that the Government, private sector, wealth creators, domestic and foreign investors, and citizens are actively participating and working together towards our common goal.


For example, by planting and caring for billions of trees by 2030, within the framework of the "One Billion Trees" national movement, we are confident that it will play a crucial role in the development of sustainable financing while reducing deforestation and degradation, increasing water resources and greenhouse gas sequestration.


In point of fact, I am pleased to note that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, during his visit last year, expressed his willingness to join and cooperate with the "One Billion Trees" national movement.


With the implementation of the movement, the most important initial result is that there is a big change in the attitude of the citizens and the public towards the protection and restoration of the environment.


Furthermore, Mongolia needs to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the agriculture and energy sectors.


Mongolia’s potential for renewable energy is very large estimated at 2,600 gigawatts thanks to its geographical location and climatic condition. It presents an opportunity to decarbonize its energy sector and further contributes to the energy supply of the region.


Therefore, Mongolia will pay special attention to increasing its clean and renewable energy sources, improve the business environment in the sector, and actively cooperate with investors and the international community.


In addition, we are working to develop the food and agriculture sector in line with green development. For example, the projects, programs and activities implemented within the national movement "Food Supply and Security" will be aimed at supporting green development.


Distinguished delegates,


As Mongolians, our cultural heritage stems from our nomadic lifestyle, which has fostered a deep connection and harmonious coexistence with nature. This unique way of life embodies our inherent responsibility to both preserve the pristine beauty of our surroundings and derive sustainable benefits from it, ensuring its longevity for future generations.


Therefore, economic and social policies should be fully focused on rapid reduction of environmental pollution and ecological degradation, improving people's livelihoods, and building green development.


For countries, there is a limited opportunity to solve and overcome the risks, challenges  of climate change as well as necessary funding by themselves, therefore it is vital to cooperate in a mutually beneficial way at the regional and international level, exchange experience and further expand the cooperation and collaboration of the organizations in this field.


In particular, due to the global pandemic, high inflation, and the energy crisis, limited fiscal space in most countries in recent years poses a significant risk to increase green finance.


Therefore, the second "“GREEN FINANCE – INTERNATIONAL FORUM” is important for expanding regional and international cooperation, strengthening mutual understanding, increasing green financing, improving the system, exchanging best practices, and coordinating policies and measures.


Furthermore, series of important issues will be discussed during this conference, such as strengthening institutional capacity for green development, enhancing coordination, roles and responsibilities of economic sectors, international approaches, standards and  new instruments for green and sustainable financing, advanced technology, innovation and green agricultural sector, energy effective construction industry.


It is pre-estimated that $11.5 billion is needed for Mongolia to reach successfully targets in its Nationally determined contribution.


In terms of our efforts for mobilizing this funding, Mongolia has decided to annually spend up to 1 percent of our GDP to combat climate change and desertification.


Moreover, I am pleased to mention that in recent years, our private sector has been actively working to mobilize sustainable funding with tangible outcome.


For instance, during last year's "Green Finance - Regional Forum", Mongolia  adopted its sustainable finance roadmap, and the financial sector committed to rapidly increase its green loans by 2030.


Moreover, Mongolia has developed its sustainable finance taxonomy in accordance with the international standards, and currently working to create a specialized financial institution for green financing through a proper public and private sector partnership model.


Also, I am pleased to mention that Mongolian commercial banks have successfully issued the first green bond on the international market, as well as Financial Regulatory Committee has granted a permission to issue the first domestic green bond by one of banks yesterday.


In the future, it is essential for Mongolia to fully define comprehensive green development policy, improve legal environment, ensure coordination and cooperation of stakeholders, and create a green business environment.


It is also advisable to actively participate in the carbon market, determine the carbon tax and green financing environment, introduce optimal innovative financing methods, and work  proactively to create the legal framework.


For the implementation of the above policy objectives, we will actively cooperate with the public and private sector, foreign and domestic investors as well as international organizations towards increasing sustainable financing  through their support  and involvement.


Distinguished guests, delegates,


Fresh air, clean water, and sacred soil are the main sources of the wellbeing of the mankind.


The green development is the foundation of sustainable global development.


For the sake of the green development, humanity and the world we  shall look in the same direction, cooperate harmoniously, and promptly make effective yet bold decisions.


Let’s work together towards the safer life for the humanity!


I wish the best for the organization of the forum!

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