The Paris Agreement sets out the ambitious task of aligning all financial flows with its goals to avoid the worst impacts of warming. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) have an important role to play in making this goal a reality.
Claudia Saller (ECCJ), Julia Otten & Johanna Kusch on why the German government should give the mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence agenda a real push, both at home and in Brussels.
The outcome of the World Climate Conference (COP25) in Madrid, held 2 to 15 December 2019, clearly shows the strengths and weaknesses of the Paris Agreement. It shows that the days of cosmetic climate policy are over, but also that the coordinated resistance of the brakemen is growing as a result.
With 2015 to 2019 as the hottest five-year period ever measured and climate impacts getting ever more severe and frequent, the immediate and determined implementation of the goals mutually agreed on in the Paris Agreement is more urgent than ever. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has therefore invited governments, the private sector, civil society and international organisations to the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 starting today in New York. Focussing on ambitious solutions and announcements of more ambitious climate targets, the summit is meant to be the starting signal for a “race to the top”.
On 22 and 23 May, 900 decision-makers from countries, regions and cities as well as stakeholders and experts from around the world convened for the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA 2019) in Heidelberg. Their aim: strengthening mitigation and adaptation measures, especially in urban areas, by improving coordination and cooperation across all levels of government and with civil society and the private sector.
In Japan, this year's G20 host, awareness of climate-related risks has risen in recent years. However, the road to a fully sustainable financial system is still long.
Not only cities and municipalities, but also the real estate industry are driving the market for green bonds in Sweden, making the country a pioneer in sustainable finance. However, there are still no binding standards.
China is following ambitious green finance plans – also for its investments overseas. But some standards are too low and should be tightened. So far, coal investments have also been considered green if the projects are "cleaner".
For Canada, the concept of a sustainable finance is still relatively new. But its importance is growing steadily and can become a model of success for the country.
Already in 2015, France adopted a law on climate risk disclosure paving the way for protecting economic systems from the consequences of climate change. But others need to follow.