COP 23- G20 committed to climate finance- UNEP Report
A new UN Environment research released recently explained that the G20 and other nations have taken huge strides over the last year towards mobilizing the trillions of dollars of public and private capital needed to make sustainable development and climate action a reality.
By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache
A new UN Environment research released recently explained that the G20 and other nations have taken huge strides over the last year towards mobilizing the trillions of dollars of public and private capital needed to make sustainable development and climate action a reality. “The world has committed to creating a better future for people and planet. But we will not be able to achieve our sustainable vision without the global financial system using its capital to fuel the transformation,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.
The investment required to bring sustainable development in developing countries was short US$2.5 trillion each year, with as much as ten times that needed globally in the years to come – mainly from private sources, UN Conference on Trade and Development research from 2015 showed, explained the study.
The UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System’s Green Finance Progress Report – a contribution to the G20’s Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) – finds dozens of encouraging policies and financial product developments that show the public and private sectors are committed to find solutions, recalled the experts of the report.
“This new research from UN Environment, a contribution to the G20 Green Finance Study Group, shows encouraging progress in this regard. From a record number of new green finance measures to ambitious plans for green finance hubs, we are seeing the smart money move to green financing, ” said Mr Solheim.
Highlights from the report
Based on the G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report, adopted at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, leaders are committed to accelerate and set out seven options identified to mobilize green finance.
Over the last year, considerable progress has been made against these seven options by all G20 members, and the international community, in increasingly systemic national action, greater international cooperation, and increased market leadership, according to the research.
More measures related to green finance have been introduced since June 2016 compared with any other one-year period since 2000. The trends and measures have resulted in increased flows of green finance, most notably in the issuance of green bonds, which grew by around 100 per cent to US$81 billion in 2016.
Examples of specific country action include:
· India: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued disclosure requirements for the issuing and listing of green debt securities.
· Germany: The federal state of Hesse has announced the intention to make the city of Frankfurt a green finance hub.
· China: In June 2017, the State Council announced five pilot areas for green finance.
· France: In January 2017, France issued a landmark EUR 7 billion long-dated 22-year sovereign green bond, with a view to promoting best market practices (especially in terms of evaluation and impact reporting) and support the development of the green bond market.
· South Africa: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is developing green bond listing requirements in line with international best practice.
· Brazil: The Central Bank issued guidelines on integrated risk management including environmental risk at the end of March 2017.
· US: The California State Insurance Commissioner launched the Climate Risk Carbon Initiative online database in January 2017 providing information on high-carbon investments of large insurance companies.
The Green Bound strategy
Increases in green bond primary market issuance have improved secondary market liquidity, allowing new funds to open and operate within existing liquidity and credit-worthiness constraints.
Four new green bond funds were launched in the first quarter of 2017.
According to the report, the progress made nationally, internationally and in financial and capital markets shows that financial system is reshaping itself to align with the sustainable development imperatives of the 21st century.
“The challenge now is to rapidly increase capital flows to investments that will support our sustainable development objectives and create commercially viable green businesses for decades to come,” said Mr Solheim. “The G20 and others have set the wheels in motion. Now is the time to press hard on the accelerator,” he added