UN, World Bank plan roadmap for sustainable climate finance
Groups, in global alliance, demand end to fossil fuel extraction
The United Nation’s (UN) top environmental body and the World Bank Group have released data to help governments and the private sector design a global financial system that is fit-for-purpose.
The roadmap for a sustainable financial system comes at a critical moment when trillions of dollars need to be deployed towards sustainability each year, much of which will have to come from the world’s financial and capital markets.
Nearly 300 policy and regulatory measures targeting sustainability were in place in over 60 countries, including Nigeria as of October 2017. Growth in measures has averaged roughly 20 per cent year on year since 2010—with an increase of roughly 30 per cent since July 2016.
Besides, in 2016, green bond issuances reached $80 billion, almost double the total issuance of 2015. Nigeria, this year, launched its green bond that targets N78 billion in climate finance through re-afforestation, smart agriculture, energy efficiency and off grid solar. Ratings agency Moody’s predicts that green bonds could exceed $200 billion this year, driven by the Paris agreement and reform in China.
To consolidate and build on this progress, however, the roadmap says that concrete and sustained action is required across the next 24 months to make best use of ongoing initiatives, and support the design and implementation of new ones. The roadmap lays out a timetable of these steps, including in the areas of products, information and technology; business models, capabilities and incentives; national public policy actions and roadmaps; global co-ordination principles; and results measurement.
“The financial system has enormous transformative power, and has the potential to serve as an engine for the global economy’s transition to sustainable development,” said UN Environment Head, Erik Solheim.
Also, World Bank Vice President for Global Themes, Hartwig Schafer, said: “Sustainable growth must be the only growth option for the planet and will require sustainable financial systems that are inclusive, deep and sound.”
In another development, as a means of transforming energy systems and keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degree, an unprecedented global alliance of civil society groups at the UN climate summit have urged governments to adopt renewable energy and put an end to exploration and extraction of new fossil fuel by 2018.
The alliance, known as Reclaim Power, sports representatives from over 75 countries across every continent, has already co-ordinated an over 2,000 protests and events calling for the transformation of energy systems as a key step in addressing climate change.
In an eight-point demand, the groups, including Nigerian-based groups – Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Action Aid International, No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN), Oilwatch Africa and Friends of the Earth International are demanding that governments commit 100 per cent renewable energy for all and to be achieved not later than 2030 for developed countries and as early as possible before 2050 for developing countries.
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