Mobilising the private sector for the green transition in emerging markets


By Maurizio Bezzeccheri, Head of Latin America Region, Enel Group, Arianna Checchi, Manager, Relations with International Organizations, Public Affairs, Eni, and Marta Martinez, Head of Analysis, Climate Change and Alliances, Iberdrola[1]


The path towards net zero by 2050 is narrow but brings huge benefits. Transformation of the global energy system – responsible for around three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide – holds the key to averting the worst effects of climate change. Emerging markets are set to be amongst the worst-affected by the climate disaster and thus have most to gain from collective climate ambition – provided they can harness the necessary investment from the private sector.

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Least developed countries cannot afford to strand their assets, given their development challenges


By Paul Akiwumi, Director of UNCTAD’s Division for Africa and Least Developed Countries


The 46 least developed countries (LDCs) are among the most vulnerable developing economies. Given the already high pressure for these countries to grow sustainably, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods for their people, they cannot afford to strand their assets. Stranded assets are those whose value has fallen so steeply they must be written off. The growing risk of stranded assets has implications on countries’ right to development or right to promote sustainable development, raising important questions of equity.

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Why intermediary cities are vital to breaking dependency on high carbon development


By Dr Michael Lindfield, Senior Consultant and Dražen Kučan, Urban and Energy Efficiency Sector Lead (Green Climate Fund)


More than two thirds of the global population are expected to reside in cities by 2050. Urbanisation offers unprecedented risks and opportunities with respect to the global response to climate change. Cities and urban infrastructure are one of four global systems (others are energy, land and ecosystems and infrastructure) that are key to reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limiting long-term global warming levels to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cities represent at least 58% of direct global emissions – 18% of all global emissions came from just 100 cities in 2017 – and constitute at least 21% of the potential for direct global emission reduction.  

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The Mediterranean hotspot


By Grammenos Mastrojeni, Senior Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean


Oceans and seas (henceforth used interchangeably) absorb over 90% of the additional heat generated by the greenhouse effect and then gradually release it across the planet. Humans may not consider oceans as a priority because we are a land species, but ocean warming brings natural disasters to our mainland. With the highest ocean temperatures recorded in 65 years, measured from surface level to a depth of 1.24 miles/2 km, these disasters are on the rise. The fires that raged in Australia and in the Amazon in 2020, and the heavy rainfalls in Europe and China, are evidence of the increased frequency of weather-related disasters. According to the  World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, weather-related hazards are the main driver of disasters, with a major human and economic toll on developing countries that are often more exposed to hazards and less prepared to address them and their consequences.

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Picture: People’s Bank of China, one of the most active central banks in the green and climate agenda

Engaging central banks in climate change?


By Dr. Dongyang Pan, School of Applied Economics, Renmin University of China, and Professor Raimund Bleischwitz, Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London


With the international community moving towards a “Net-Zero” economy, financial regulators and central banks have started showing significant interest in averting climate-related risks and promoting a green economic transition. Since 2015, when a report published by the Bank of England put forward that climate change could pose a risk to financial stability and economic development, there has been a shift in central banks’ mindset and they now participate in the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). In 2020 and 2021, the European Central Bank and People’s Bank of China explicitly proposed to use monetary policy to enable the low-carbon transition. The EU is also pushing green investments via its financial taxonomy.

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Africa must be at the heart of COP26


By Dr Penny Byrne, Climate Research Analyst at Standard Bank & Simon Freemantle, Senior Political Economist at Standard Bank


The COP26 summit presents a vital opportunity for global leaders, particularly those representing developed economies, to place Africa’s unique and pressing needs and demands at the centre of a more equitable framework for future climate mitigation and adaptation. The reason for Africa’s centrality in these discussions is simple: though its contribution to climate change has been negligible (in all, Africa contributed just 4% of total emissions in 2019 despite being home to over 17% of the world’s population), the continent will be powerfully, indeed disproportionately, affected by its long-term consequences.

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The future of green is win-win


By Erik Solheim, President Green Belt and Road Institute and Former Minister of Environment and International Development of Norway


To face the great environmental – and in many respects existential – challenges of our time, we need to change the way we think. Green action is not a cost. Neither is it as difficult as we tend to believe. The green shift is a huge opportunity for win-win policies.

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Not all walls are built to divide us: In Africa, the world’s longest wall is setting its people free


By Tina Birmpili, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)


Across Africa, the world’s longest wall is being built. Not a wall to keep immigrants out or oppressed people in. Rather, a wall to unlock the potential of millions of people in the Sahel.

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COP26’s moment of truth: High time for good food finance to enter the climate action menu


By Olav Kjørven, Senior Director of Strategy, EAT


Two sectors will be decisive for the rapid and successful decarbonisation of our economies: energy and food. Energy gets a lot of attention. Food is another story. Decarbonising food production and consumption is just as urgent as the energy transition, but so far little is happening. Recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and the UN Food Systems Summit in September have helped raise awareness. The EU Farm to Fork Strategy is a sign of hope. But at COP26 in Glasgow, we need real, concrete resolve to make food system transformation a climate action priority.

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Les réserves de biosphère : outils au service des objectifs de développement durable


Par Dimitri Sanga, Directeur et Enang Moma, Officier national du programme en sciences naturelles, Bureau régional de l’UNESCO pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest


Considérées comme des « lieux d’apprentissage pour le développement durable », les réserves de biosphère sont aussi des lieux de test des approches interdisciplinaires pour comprendre et gérer les changements et interactions entre les systèmes économiques, sociaux et écologiques. Elles comprennent les écosystèmes terrestres, marins et côtiers et favorisent des solutions conciliant conservation et durabilité de la biodiversité.

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