By Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg
The 25th anniversary of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) takes place in a promising historical context. Indeed, 2016 is the year where the ratification of the Paris Climate agreement has started and follows the year where the UN adopted its Sustainable Development Goals. The timing could thus not be better to celebrate the existence of a global partnership that helps improve the global environment, in every sense of the word.
The GEF has proved resilient and effective over time. It has become a bridge between 183 countries and is linking in with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to address global environmental issues. The GEF constitutes a multilateral vehicle of choice to channel parts of the Official Development Assistance, which, in the case of Luxembourg, is one of the world’s highest, amounting to 1 % of GNI.
Luxembourg has actively participated in the successive pledging sessions regarding the GEF’s financing. These sessions provide any participant with an excellent opportunity to take part in the definition of the strategies needed to address the planet’s health. In this context, Luxembourg also takes a strong interest in the GEF Council workings. We are looking forward to fulfilling the role of advisor in our constituency in the GEF Council session in 2017 and of member in the 2018 Council session.
Safeguarding the globe is one of the most critical challenges of our time. This is particularly true when it comes to tracking and evaluating the GEF’s contribution with regard to the state of our air, oceans, forests, land and biodiversity. I am convinced that every cent invested by the GEF will continue to make our planet a better place. I also welcome that the private sector is growing increasingly aware of these challenges and the opportunities offered by green finance in that context. As the world's leading place for the listing of Green Bonds, the Luxembourg Financial Center actively contributes to the development of this important new field in finance, for which the GEF certainly was a trailblazer.