UNDP Associate Administrator Keynote Address at Green Finance Regional Forum

2022-03-29 16:25:30

President Khurelsukh Ukhnaa,

Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai,

Distinguished Panellists,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to address this important forum hosted by President Khurelsukh.

I am heartened by your commitment towards enhancing ‘green’ financing, in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As humankind, we are facing unprecedented global challenges -- from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, biodiversity loss, and active conflicts at an all-time high.

These complex, interconnected issues are exacerbating existing inequalities and setting back progress on the SDGs.

In these turbulent times, there is a pressing need for global solidarity to shape a more sustainable future, where people and planet live in balance.

To get there, we must come together to drive a green recovery from COVID-19.

Now is the time to act and embrace solutions like green financing if we are to realise a net-zero future.

Between $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year needs to be mobilised if we hope to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Though we are seeing increased commitment towards green financing globally, we are far short from that goal -- with an average annual funding gap of $2.5 trillion.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed severe constraints on countries’ fiscal space, while there is increasing pressure from humanitarian crises, including now in Ukraine.

How can we then maximize and optimize financing for the SDGs?

As public resources alone are not enough, we have to find effective, sustainable and mutually beneficial ways to channel private financial assets towards investments for sustainable and green development.

This is a key priority globally, regionally, and locally.

Which is why, the commitments that I hope will emerge from today’s event are of the utmost importance.

With global average temperatures rising, Mongolia is one of many countries that is experiencing significant climate change impacts.

As Mongolia seeks to build a strong, diversified, green and prosperous economy in the next 30 years -- in line with your Vision 2050 -- a multi-pillar, inclusive, sustainable, and green financial eco-system must be developed.

That can be advanced by creating an ‘enabling environment’ for investment and promoting public-private partnerships to mobilize the additional resources needed to bridge the financing gap for the SDGs.

I am pleased to note the progress that Mongolia is making in this direction.

For example, look to the ‘Billion Tree’ initiative, announced by President Khurelsukh at COP26 in Glasgow -- it aims to plant one billion trees to combat desertification.

Today’s forum also highlights Mongolia’s other efforts towards achieving the SDGs.

Consider the Green Billion Fund -- an ambitious initiative for reforestation and the restoration of ecosystems.

Or look to the new National Sustainable Finance Roadmap.

Such initiatives are strategically aligned with UNDP’s goals to support the country’s inclusive, resilient and sustainable development.

One of our flagship initiatives with the government is The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) which helps bridge the financing gap for biodiversity conservation in Mongolia.

The three financing solutions that will be tested and scaled-up in the coming years include:

1) The establishment of a National Conservation Trust Fund;

2) Improving the mechanism and guidelines for implementing natural resource use fees; and

3) Re-purposing harmful biodiversity subsidies.

We are also assisting Mongolia to explore new ways of sustainable green financing through debt instruments such as SDG Bonds – finances that can be channelled toward vital services like healthcare, education, or nature.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Time is running out for us to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The next few years will be crucial for us to make substantial progress.

Recovery from the COVID-19 can be a stepping stone rather than a setback for green financing.

This starts with each country at the central level, and we are already supporting the efforts of several countries in the region in this key area.

However, it is also important to ensure local governments are involved as well as local chambers of commerce, and other actors in the financing ecosystem.

Which is why I would like to invite private sector leaders and investors here today to consider how aligning your business and strategy with the SDGs could be a ‘win-win’ for everyone.

I would also like to encourage decision-makers and leaders gathered here today to discuss how you can incentivize green financing and SDG-aligned financing in your partnerships with the private sector and investors.

As ever, UNDP stands ready to advocate for and facilitate global and regional cooperation around the green transition and green financing.

It is only when we come together that we can achieve the scale and ambition required to protect and restore our natural world we all depend on -- and realise the promises of the 2030 Agenda.

Thank you.