Opening remarks by Mr. Roberto Cingolani, Minister of Ecological Transition of Italy, as Global Champion at the 2021 Ministerial Thematic Forum on Finance & Investment for the High-level Dialogue on Energy —
Distinguished UN Members, dear Colleagues,
I am honored to join as a Global Champion the Ministerial Thematic Forum on Finance and Investments in the framework of the High-level Dialogue on Energy 2021.
Italy, as 2021 President of the G20 and partner to the UK for COP 26, considers sustainable finance and investments one of the key priorities to reach energy and climate targets set at international level towards a net-zero emissions future.
The Pandemic has caused a global shock to economies but is also providing an opportunity to accelerate the shift of global financial flows towards energy transition, climate neutrality and enhanced resilience to climate change. The measures for the recovery shall be directed to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy systems with renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and innovative clean-technologies as main pillars. In order to “build back better”, we actually need to “build forward better,” and the economic recovery must facilitate the realignment of investment portfolios based on sustainability.
This would entail the development of initiatives to rapidly align finance and investments, particularly those delivered for the COVID-19 recovery, with the Paris Agreement long-term objectives of making finance flows consistent with a net zero emissions pathway and climate resilient development.
To do so, we should avoid locking-in investments into carbon-intensive infrastructures and industries and refrain from policies incompatible with the pathways towards the climate neutral future we are committed to, by mid-century.
The impacts of climate change are already being experienced worldwide, demonstrating the need to enhance and scale up adaptation actions. Therefore, increasing the availability, efficiency, and accessibility of adaptation finance through public and private sources is a priority that needs to be addressed. While public finance continues to represent an essential leverage to support adaptation actions, public sources alone cannot provide efficient means against the growing challenge of adapting to climate change.
A green and just recovery should help worldwide to scale up finance and investments, while striving to develop market conditions to further reduce the costs of the innovative clean technological solutions with the untapped-most potentials.
We need rapid actions within this decade to shift the trajectory of the energy sector, by enhancing sustainable mobility and bringing renewable technologies such as green hydrogen and innovative offshore renewables such as ocean energy to full commercialization within the decade. We are not starting from scratch: the decrease in costs, resulting from improvements in technology and the adjustment of procurement mechanisms to changing market conditions, has proven to be an effective catalyst in ramping up investment and building additional clean capacity.
The Italian G20 Presidency – revolving around the 3Ps People-Planet-Prosperity approach – put the Paris aligned financial flows as a key priority in order to achieve climate neutrality while strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. These flows should become a solid and accessible tool to enable economies and societies-wide structural changes, notably in the emerging markets and developing Countries, which are needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris agreement.