Remarks of the Managing Director at the COP26 World Leaders' Summit

November 1, 2021

Thank you very much Saleem. Because we failed to cut emissions on time and at a scale necessary to protect our beautiful planet, adaptation needs are going up and up.

For developing countries alone—by the end of this decade—they are going to need to spend somewhere between $140 and $300 billion a year. And if we continue to drag our feet that is going to rise sharply.

So—communities are acting, as we heard from Saleem. Policymakers also have a responsibility to act.

First, they need to understand the vulnerabilities of their countries. In other words, we need to have good assessments and those assessments need to inform investment decisions.

They need to make sure that there are early warning systems, resilient infrastructure, social protection programs—so when families are hit, help is on the way. And I'm proud my institution is working in that regard.

Second, they need to eliminate barriers to adaptation. There has to be access to insurance for everyone, and there has to be prohibition on excessive risk taking—so societies are better protected.

And third, they need to provide incentives for the private sector to step forward and deliver climate resilient agriculture, smart cities—all the things that make us stronger in the face of climate change.

We all have a role to play. In my institution, the IMF, we work with vulnerable countries to help them assess their risks and put in place strategies to mitigate them.

And most recently we have received support to create a new financial instrument—we call it the Resilience and Sustainability Trust. It will be there to provide long-term financing on concessional terms to vulnerable countries, small island states, countries affected by droughts and floods—so they can have the financial resources necessary to be strong in the face of climate shocks to come.

I am proud that we put adaptation on an equal footing with mitigation in our work, as did the World Bank. And I know next speaker would be the World Bank President.

Thank you      

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