Washington, Apr 14 : Higher financing and bold leadership are needed urgently to tackle climate change, rising inequality, and surging debt, as increased risks and vulnerabilities threaten economic growth globally, says the United Nations Development Programme.
“We still have a global financial and economic system that is not responding to the needs for the scale and type of finance that is required for sustainable development,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings on Saturday.
He also stressed this during the Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G20, where he represented the UN.
“Bold climate action could trigger US$26 trillion in economic benefit by 2030, create more than 65 million jobs, and help 700,000 people avoid premature death. We need smart policies and investments now to bridge growing gaps not just in income, but in dignity, opportunity, and quality of life.”
By 2050, financing transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy will require investment of at least $60 trillion.
Steiner said that public finance clearly won’t be enough and it must be leveraged to mobilise more private finance.
Steiner also addressed the looming debt crisis many developing countries face.
IMF-World Bank analyses find 40 percent of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and low-income countries face debt distress or high risk of debt distress, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.
Steiner also spoke about the need to address soaring inequality in a number of areas,
“Inequalities are prevalent in access to quality education, health, and technologies as well as vulnerability to shocks, among other areas. We also see persistent gender disparities across the world. Inequality limits people’s choices and opportunities and engenders political and social tensions and global inefficiencies.”
This year, UNDP’s Human Development Report will focus on the critical issue of inequality in human development.