Back to Home | Back to Speech

High-Level Forum of Global Commission on Adaptation Convening Countries: Raising Ambition Ahead of the 2020 Climate Adaptation Summit 10 December 2019 | 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM Institucion Ferial de Madrid-Feria de Madrid Madrid, Spain

December 10, 2019

The challenge posed by the climate crisis is nothing short of daunting.

Many have been calling on governments to declare a climate emergency. In my view, we have been in a climate emergency since two decades ago.

What we need now is to act decisively with courage, hope, and an unmistakable sense of urgency.

We must approach ambition with the correct frame of mind — we need to focus on scale and speed, because we need to go big and to act fast.

We have a robust idea about what’s coming our way, thanks to valiant members of the scientific community. We also know what we need to do. 

The climate crisis IS an opportunity to reinvent nothing less than our investment strategies. In order to make everything more resilient, we MUST upgrade everything, from food supply to infrastructure to urban services to logistics and supply chains. By upgrading everything, we are also faced with the opportunity to pump-prime the economy while sending a signal to the private sector as to where their investments will matter most.

We also need to do more than just enhance ambition. We need to ENABLE ambition as well. We need to address the cost of capital issue, which is punishing vulnerable nations three times over. We are grappling with poverty and vulnerability, yet financing is more expensive for us because of our vulnerability, which means we can’t pursue transformation as quickly as we want to, which makes us more vulnerable. This vicious cycle needs to end.

This is the reason the V20 Group of Finance Ministers–the sister organization of the 48-government strong Climate Vulnerable Forum or CVF, which the Philippines helped found–is advancing innovative instruments. One of them is called the Accelerated Financing Mechanism (AFM) for Maximal Resilience and 100% Renewable Energy. The AFM is designed to buy down risk so that real ambition can be enabled among vulnerable countries, in partnership with leading multilateral development banks.

The Green Climate Fund must stay true to its mandate of serving the adaptation needs of developing countries, and this is why we continue to call for its replenishment towards fulfilling the committed financing of 100 billion dollars annually. 

There is much more to share but I will stop here and leave with you something I have always said — we may be vulnerable but we are capable. Finance and funding are critical, but what we really need are partners ready to enable ambition and who will work with us as equals. #