MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very happy to participate today, even through a videoconference, in the first ever meeting bringing together all the public development banks of the world and all their partners.
Because we have all understood that we need to fundamentally change and rebuild, this is a strong and useful initiative. I congratulate the organizers and all the partners of the Common Finance Summit. In particular the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI). Multilateral partner banks. And the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) chaired by the French Development Agency, at the origin of this Summit.
We have just, along with several other Heads of State, with the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Director General of the International Monetary Fund, the President of the European Commission, to discuss and identify the principles of a renewed and strengthened international action for overcome this crisis, and change what must be changed in our ways of producing, consuming and cooperating, so that social ties and the environment are preserved, protected, rebuilt.
As a continuation of this exchange on the principles which should re-found multilateralism, we were keen to participate in the Common Finance Summit, to take action by mobilizing our public banks as strongly as possible.
This summit is proof. Proof that our transformation is possible. By meeting today, by bringing out a coalition that is unprecedented in terms of its scale, its diversity and its role as a platform between all the financial players, you come to remind us that it is possible to build common, coherent, concerted responses to major global challenges. The presence of all of you attests to it: a deep consensus exists on the urgency of combating climate change and on the need to build a more just, equitable and sustainable world. But also on the necessary complementarity of these agendas. We can no longer speak of development trajectories without taking into account the impacts of climate change. We can no longer act for the climate without taking into account social inequalities.
A few days ago, the United States officially exited the Paris climate agreement. The election results pave the way for a return to day one. We wanted it, from the first hours you know it, we fought for it, and it is proof that we had to stand firm in the face of all bad winds. I remember the One Planet Summit, the G7 in Biarritz, the Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019, and so many other international meetings organized over the past three years to save our capacity for collective action. We did it.
A few weeks ago China confirmed its readiness to move forward in accordance with the commitments made. The European Union will take structuring decisions for itself in the days and weeks to come. December 12, the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, will be the time for clarification. Commitments kept and to come.
Let us collectively be at the rendezvous. Now. More than ever. Make our planet great again is one possibility. Not just in words. In reality.
Here, it is no longer a question of seeking an international agreement – we found it five years ago already with the Paris agreement on the climate, that of New York on the Sustainable Development Goals and in Addis Ababa on financing for development. No, it is about taking action, scaling up and bringing all the goodwill actors with us.
I am therefore happy to see that today, at this very precise moment in our international life, you come to us with the will to “jointly finance” our policies and our transformation. With the capacity to act at all levels, multilateral, international, regional, national and local, since there are public development banks in every country of the world. With the desire to respond at the same time, in each of the projects you finance, to environmental and social issues. And with the ambition to leverage the $ 2.3 trillion you already invest each year, by acting as platforms in each country, as the G20 has called for.
What you are creating is a new comprehensive public financial infrastructure, which was never designed on this scale and which we so badly need, alongside government budgets and central bank tools. A new infrastructure capable of reviving public investment, counter-cyclically during crises, and of accelerating the mobilization of private finance in the service of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. An architecture capable of mobilizing savings wherever they are in the world and of directing them more effectively to where the most promising investment opportunities are, in the South, in particular. An architecture capable of stimulating investments in sustainable development.
I invite you to make your voice heard more strongly, distinctly in international debates. A concrete, constructive voice, entering into dialogue with those, just as essential, of local authorities, private financiers, businesses, civil society and philanthropists.
I am particularly sensitive to this because public development banks have played a major role in the economic history of France. And they are now at the forefront of the COVID19 crisis and the transformation that I have been undertaking for more than three years.
It was in France that the oldest public development bank in the world was born in 1816, which became the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations group. And in the crisis we are going through, this group immediately put itself at the service of the recovery and devotes a significant portion of its equity, to the tune of € 26 billion, for the economic recovery to be the fastest, the most responsible, as sustainable as possible, in many areas such as housing or support for businesses and the economy, strengthening social cohesion and of course ecological and energy transition. With the Banque des Territoires and Bpifrance, more than 40 billion euros will be devoted to the fight against climate change by 2024, by changing the scale on many subjects that will allow us to reduce our CO2 emissions. There is therefore no inevitability, and this group is helping an ecosystem of innovation in sustainable development to structure itself, and to move forward also in terms of loans and equity.
It was also in the service of France and Africa that it was also born in London in 1941, founded by General de Gaulle to be the Caisse de la France libre, the oldest international public bank in the world: the Agence group French Development. In the service of the climate, biodiversity and the SDGs, in Africa, in the emerging world and in our overseas territories, this group works for a common world, and reaches € 14 billion in annual funding in 2019. AFD will go further in supporting the public policies of our partners with the entry of Expertise France into the AFD group. I would also like to thank AFD for helping to make Paris a capital of solutions for sustainable development, with all the international institutions that reside there, and with our financial center, at the forefront of the fight for green and sustainable finance.
Finally, I want to underline the important role of public development banks in the new stage in the construction of the European Union. I know that the EIB, the EBRD, the Council of Europe Development Bank and the public banks of different states of Europe have participated very actively in your work. They are strongly committed to supporting the European Green New Deal and in international cooperation, in particular with Africa. With our European partners, we are going to transform and strengthen the EIB to make it a true “European Climate Bank”, strengthen the strike force of European development banks by structuring a more readable, more articulated and more coordinated action system.
You understand, our public banks are now proposing to help initiate a new stage in the development of our societies. Made of respect, international cooperation, commitment of each of our states, local, national, regional, from the productive to the social. Our banks basically offer us to link and reconcile, as never before, the scales of space, time, and the coherence of an action to help sustainable development. By insisting on our duty of solidarity and concern for the poorest, in the world as in each of our societies.
So I wish the pool finance movement, which you are all launching today, very long life. I very positively welcome the strength of your collective commitments and will ensure that your work is recognized and encouraged at the international level, on the occasion of the major summits of 2021 on biodiversity, the climate, the financing of African economies, gender equality and food security. In any case, I hope that your work can enlighten us at the G7, the G20, and above all can concretely change the lives of all those for whom it is intended. Changing everyone’s life, making it better, is our common goal.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.