IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Opening Remarks

April 10, 2023

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, John. And my thanks to the International Finance Forum, the Bretton Woods Committee, and the Paulson Institute for putting together this important event.

Almost one year ago, the IMF’s Executive Board approved the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

The creation of the RST at a time of extraordinary shocks—from the pandemic to Russia’s war in Ukraine—was a clear signal that we will not lose sight of the urgent need to address climate change.

We have created and operationalized the RST in 6 months at par with this urgency.

I am pleased to report today that the first five Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) programs are in place. Demand is strong, with some 44 countries interested to join the programs already in place. Equally strong is the collaboration with our partners, and I want to thank them all, especially our sister institution, the World Bank.

But we also have much more to do. Why? Because climate change affecting lives and livelihoods everywhere is one of the most critical macroeconomic challenges that IMF members are facing.

Addressing this challenge requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach based on three interrelated elements: adequate policies, investment & innovation, and financing.

Let me give you an example. Putting the world on the net-zero emission trajectory and adapting to the part of the global warming already locked in requires trillions of dollars of investment. Governments cannot mobilize it alone, and the financing gap is particularly large, especially not in emerging and developing countries. We must find ways to substantially scale up private finance.

To do so, countries must adopt transformative climate policies and implement regulatory and institutional reforms to help create a conducive environment for private climate finance.

At the same time, we should harness public and private financing and explore options to finance countries’ climate action. Here, everyone—multilateral institutions, national authorities, and the private sector—has a role to play within our comparative strengths. Key is to collaborate closely in these efforts and turn climate challenges into opportunities.

What is the role of the Fund? The IMF has put climate at the heart of our work. From bilateral and multilateral surveillance to data, capacity development, policy analysis, and now programs—we are now a systemically significant institution in the fight against climate change.

Reforms under our Resilience and Sustainability Facility aim to increase the accountability and transparency of countries’ investment frameworks. Our programs—supported by capacity-building activities—help remove obstacles to private investment by adopting climate-friendly policies such as fossil fuel subsidy reforms, climate-related disclosures, and regulatory changes.

This is how we contribute today to helping Rwanda, Barbados, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, and Jamaica, and this is how we intend to support other low-income and vulnerable middle-income countries in increasing the resilience of their economies.

And strong collaboration with multilateral development banks and public and private sector partners is a crucial piece of our approach. That’s why I’m particularly grateful for this discussion and to this excellent group of panelists.

We want to hear your views and work with you and all our partners across the climate finance landscape.

Together, we can help climate vulnerable countries strengthen policies and become more attractive destinations for private finance.

Thank you.


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