unctad.org | Symposium on Financing a Green Economy at UNEA - Financing the Need
Statement by Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
Symposium on Financing a Green Economy at UNEA - Financing the Need
24 Jun 2014


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be here with you today to discuss a key challenge in shifting the global economy onto a more sustainable trajectory -- that of mobilizing the requisite financial resources.

We at UNCTAD are focusing much of our work on promoting development that is, socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. As part of this, we are involved in the discussions in New York on the Sustainable Development Goals that will define the post-2015 development agenda. Indeed, we have been asked to act as a facilitator regarding the means of implementation of SDGs, in which finance will play an important part.

While views differ regarding the level of finance that will be necessary to meet SDGs in the period up until 2030, one thing we can all agree on is that there is a significant investment gap. The theme of UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2014, which I launched here in Nairobi yesterday, is Investing in SDGs. The Report focuses on mobilizing private sector finance for SDGs, and is therefore highly relevant to this session.

UNCTAD estimates that globally, the level of investment needed to realize the prospective SDGs will be $5 trillion to $7 trillion per year, on average, over the period 2015-2030. Estimates for investment needs in developing countries alone range from $3.3 trillion to $4.5 trillion per year. At current levels of investment in sectors related to sustainable development, that translates into an annual gap for developing countries of $2.5 trillion.

With such numbers, clearly it will take a major scaling up of both public and private investment in all countries. Public bodies - at international, regional and national levels - will have to show leadership so that funding, whether public or private, is channeled towards sustainable development. This will entail a wide range of polities and measures designed to not only to foster the needed investment but also to overcome the considerable constraints that exist today.

We know from experience that public policy, in the form of programmes, incentives, rules and advocacy, is necessary, especially to if funding is to get to those who need it most in the world's poorest countries. We also know from looking at existing, sometimes nascent, investment in sustainability that there are win-win solutions to be had.

It will surely be a challenge. But a sustainable green economy is not an option. Sustainable development is not an option. Ultimately, this is a challenge that must be met, for this generation and those who come after.

Thank you.


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