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U.N. chief 'encouraged' by development bank climate pledge, urges more

FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday he was “encouraged” by a joint declaration on sustainable finance by the world’s development banks, but that more was needed.

The world’s 450 public development banks agreed on Wednesday to align their lending with the aims of the Paris climate accord, but Guterres said more money should be spent on climate finance and it needed to happen faster.

He reiterated a previous call for the banks to phase out lending for fossil fuel projects and also urged ministers of finance to do more to shape the strategic direction of the banks before the next round of global climate talks in in 2021.

“I ask all development banks to commit to exit from coal, domestic and abroad, and urgently phase out fossil fuel finance. And call on governments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, with clear timebound targets and plans,” he said.

Reporting by Simon Jessop

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