Weekly wrap: Finance in focus ahead of G20

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World leaders will meet in Hangzhou, China 4-5 September (Pic: Flickr/Soory)


As leaders of 20 major economies head to Hangzhou, China, they are under pressure to put their money where their mouths are on climate change.

Insurers worth US$1.2 trillion urged the G20 to set a deadline for their vaguely worded promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

Shifting finance from brown to green infrastructure is essential if the group – responsible for 83% of global emissions – is to do its bit to curb temperature rise.

Members’ emissions targets are “far from sufficient“, according to Climate Transparency. The network of think tanks says they should be cutting six times as much by 2030 in line with a 2C upper warming limit.

Australia is bottom of the class as usual, preparing to cut US$1 billion of renewables funding at home while prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is at the summit.

Nor is the EU squeaky clean, says Climate Action Network Europe, highlighting billions of euros worth of fossil fuel support flowing through EU institutions.

Number of the week

9.9 billion – world population by 2050, according to the latest Population Reference Bureau forecast

Activist Pope

Catholics should advocate for stronger policies and boycott polluters, according to the Vatican’s most activist climate intervention yet.

Pope Francis urged the faithful to change not only their personal habits, but shape a sustainable society, on the church’s first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Korindo v kangaroos

Korean palm oil company Korindo is under fire for destroying 11,700 hectares of pristine rainforest in Indonesia’s Papua province.

The slash-and-burn campaign will make tree kangaroos, cassowaries and birds of paradise homeless, according to NGO coalition Mighty. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Quick hits

Shipping: Why ship owners see little point in greener vessels
WWF: NGO appoints Manuel Pulgar-Vidal to lead climate work
India: Coal mining target shelved on weak demand
Research: Elephant seals enlisted in Antarctic sea ice study
UK: Theresa May urged to ratify Paris climate deal by close of 2016
Carbon markets: Mexico, Ontario and Quebec pledge cooperation

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