The signing of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 was rightly hailed as a truly historic moment in the fight against climate change. It marked the start of the most important race in our existence – the race to curb global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so that global temperature rise remains below 2 degrees Celsius and, ideally, below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
2016 marked the start of a new era in global action against climate change, with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on November 4, less than a year after its adoption. The Marrakech Action Proclamation, issued at the end of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November 2016, reaffirmed the Parties’ commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and encouraged the ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
Multilateral climate funds play a key role in using public finance to help drive the economic and societal transformation necessary to address climate change. There is growing pressure for policymakers to make the architecture of funds more effective and coherent. This report examines seven key multilateral climate funds and recommends operational and architectural reforms to improve their ability to deliver low-emissions and climate-resilient development.
2015 witnessed an historic global step forward in taking action on climate change. In Paris, world leaders reached an agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to keep the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to hold the increase to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement encouraged all countries, for the first time, to make individual, voluntary commitments to contribute to this global goal, marking the beginning of a new era in the cooperative effort to limit climate change.
Whether it is air pollution in China, haze in Singapore, or water scarcity in India, the evidence that environmental and social issues present growing risks to economic growth is mounting across Asia. Global banks and international institutional investors have begun to address these issues in their financing and investment decision-making processes.
A dramatic drop in the price of clean technologies and the rise of smart policies are driving businesses to climate-smart investments. 2015 was another record-breaking year for investment in new wind power, solar power, and hydropower plants: 152 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy became operational, and global investment in clean energy increased to $348.5 billion – more than twice as much as coal- and gas-fired power generation.
US sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing continues to expand. The total US-domiciled assets under management using SRI strategies grew from $6.57 trillion at the start of 2014 to $8.72 trillion at the start of 2016, an increase of 33 percent, as shown in Figure A. These assets now account for more than one out of every five dollars under professional management in the United States.
In a global investment landscape that at times appears rife with uncertainty and beset by bubbles and busts, two main areas stand out both as pockets of opportunity and as major forces for change: sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing—that is, investment that considers environmental, social and governance criteria as well as returns—and financial technology, or fintech, which is revolutionising how financial services are delivered.
The call for a 100% renewable energy future is gaining widespread support. It is a clear and simple concept, which expresses perfectly the ambition signaled by countries in signing of the 2015 landmark Paris Agreement. Holding global average temperature rise well below 2°C, not to mention a much safer limit of 1.5°C, requires nothing short of the complete decarbonisation of the energy sector. But the world is a complex place; what works in one country doesn’t necessarily work in another. Finding solutions for some sectors is easier than for others. The stakes are high – financially, environmentally and socially – and as the transition progresses, there will be clear winners and losers.
The solar and wind power industries must raise trillions of dollars in the decades ahead to achieve the scale of older, more established energy sources. While investment in solar and wind power has grown in recent years, reaching a record $270 billion in 2015, such investment declined by roughly 16% to $226 billion in 2016. Solar and wind developers often struggle to obtain adequate financing on competitive terms.
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