October 20, 2021

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The private sector must join the fight against climate change, says Achim Steiner of UNDP at the Earth Day Event

The private sector must join the fight against climate change, says Achim Steiner of UNDP at the Earth Day Event

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A senior UN official discussed current challenges in addressing climate change, notably through a new mechanism aimed at uniting the public and private sectors with financial initiatives aimed at achieving the organism’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) international.

Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), explained the developments taking place in the intergovernmental organization amid global efforts to address the ongoing climate change crisis at a Reuters reporter’s event to commemorate the Earth Day on Thursday.

The hour-long conversation was led by Reuters editor-in-chief Alex Threlfall and Reuters climate change editor Katy Daigle.

When asked by Sputnik about the achievements of the UN Finance Alliance SDG, Steiner explained how Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, set the example for building similar mechanisms.

Steiner said Carney worked within the central banking and macroeconomic sector which had “denied the relevance of climate change,” adding that finance ministers had just started hiring climate change consultants over the past two years to address the crisis. .

“It’s phenomenal and it’s the lifeblood of our economies, yet ministries, the people in charge of our financial systems, even in the global context, have long lived in denial,” said Steiner.

The former Governor of the Bank of England was also the first to hold talks with China to include finance in the climate change talks, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) CEO Kristalina Georgieva later “explicitly made the climate change integral part “of the future of the world. financial system.

“Also, the change doesn’t happen at the flick of a light switch,” explained the UNDP administrator. “He’s conservative and has an extraordinary amount of inertia on the inside.”

Carney’s Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) launched Wednesday was a measure to mobilize private sector decision-making actors in the financial system “on a different path”.

Such efforts could help the global financial system address the threats of climate change and other threats and their effects on the economy, he said, citing the challenges of natural disasters caused in the insurance sector.

“We need to scale up these initiatives and Mark Carney in yesterday’s launch was yet another attempt to accelerate this change,” added Steiner.

When asked by Reuters’ Alex Threlfall whether such mechanisms were effective, Steiner said it was a “step on the ladder” to build consensus in the private sector on an “imperative” as well as a “responsibility to act.”

According to Steiner, public sector budgets accounted for less than a fifth of total economic transactions per year.

“So how do you get this diverse group of actors who define the vast majority of our economic decisions every day to be aligned and supported, and ultimately incentivized to be part of the solution rather than saying that the state will solve the problem and we will continue to serve our shareholders. That equation is truly an anachronism and I think many in the private sector recognize it today, “he concluded.

The news comes just days after Mr. Steiner was confirmed as UNDP administrator for a second four-year term on Wednesday after leading the organization since 2017.

UNDP called for stronger measures to protect the environment in an annual report, which Steiner called “an unrepentant signal to the world that the way we measure development in the future must evolve.”