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UN report: Developing nations need more support to go green

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-27 17:11

The Trade and Development Report 2019 sets out a series of reform measures to make debt, private capital and banks work for development and finance the Global Green New Deal. [Photo/IC]

The UN has called for financing a Global Green New Deal, and given a series of reform measures to make debt, capital and banks work for development and finance a deal that aims to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Wednesday.

The current climate change is already causing global severe damage and posing an existential threat, according to UNCTAD, while the Global Green New Deal can help bring about a more equal distribution of income and reverse decades of environmental degradation.

In the Trade and Development Report 2019, it sets out a roadmap under which both developed and developing economies can have a higher GDP growth rate than those led by the current patterns of global demand. It also highlights that more specific measures and targeted financial support are required to help developing countries' green development for decarbonizing.

According to UNCTAD, an annual increase in total green investment of 2 percent of global output, which means around $1.7 trillion or just one-third of the money currently spent by governments on subsidizing fossil fuels, could have an estimated net increase of at least 170 million jobs worldwide, along with cleaner industrialization in countries of the South and an overall carbon emissions reduction by the target year of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

However, structural transformation in developing countries will require an unprecedented increase in financing productive investment -- at least $2 trillion to $3 trillion per year, to meet only the most basic Sustainable Development Goals on time.

Suggested actions in the report include providing a global SDG-related concessional lending program for developing countries, expanding Special Drawing Rights linked directly to the provision of public goods in developing countries, and setting dedicated SDG-related debt relief programs.

Specifically, measures and reforms proposed in the report give the financing power for the Global Green New Deal to the public sector and the report calls on the international community to find the political will to push the agenda.

"Meeting the financing demands of the Agenda 2030 requires rebuilding multilateralism around the idea of a Global Green New Deal, and by implication a financial future very different from the recent past," according to Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD's secretary-general.

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