Investment is the lifeblood of the global energy system. Individual decisions about how to direct capital to various energy projects – related to the collection, conversion, transport and consumption of energy resources – combine to shape global patterns of energy use and related emissions for decades to come. Government energy and climate policies seek to influence the scale and nature of investments across the economy, and long-term climate goals depend on their success. Understanding the energy investment landscape today and how it can evolve to meet decarbonisation goals are central elements of the energy transition. Around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from energy production and use, which puts the energy sector at the core of efforts to combat climate change.
This report was drafted by a working group of United Nations entities, the World Bank, and other stakeholders to suggest a common understanding of the blue economy; to highlight the importance of such an approach, particularly for small island developing states and coastal least developed countries; to identify some of the key challenges its adoption poses; and to suggest some broad next steps that are called for in order to ensure its implementation.
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.
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