Finance

Emerging economies share ‘grave concern’ over EU plans for a carbon border tax

Brazil, South Africa, India and China say EU plans for a carbon levy on imported products like steel and cement will unfairly penalise their economies

Climate vulnerability should be factored into debt relief, says IMF head

Kristalina Georgieva said the IMF was considering proposals to ensure climate vulnerable middle-income nations receive support to build back better from Covid-19

A test of trust – Climate Weekly

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UK pledges to make scaling up adaptation finance a priority at G7 summit

At a ministerial meeting of donor and developing countries, the UK said it would aim to secure additional financial support for vulnerable nations by June

Under fire over aid cuts, UK hosts summit to help vulnerable nations fund climate action

Research to enhance climate action in developing countries is being threatened with aid cuts at a time when the UK is seeking ‘practical steps’ to boost climate investment

Rare IMF relief offers a hope of green recovery to debt-laden nations

As the IMF prepares a $650 billion injection of funds into the global economy, there are calls to target support to climate vulnerable nations

UK rules out public subsidy for East African oil pipeline

UK Export Finance will no longer back oil and gas projects overseas, shutting off a potential source of support for a major pipeline across Uganda and Tanzania

Carbon markets are proving resilient to the coronavirus pandemic

In contrast with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, carbon prices have not taken a big hit from Covid-19, reflecting improvements in market design

Slash and burn: how the UK government is cutting aid while propping up fossil fuels

There’s a huge shameful loophole in the Cop26 host’s pledge to stop funding fossil fuels abroad. It must be fixed before other nations copy it

Scientists push to add “huge” fish trawling emissions to national inventories

Bottom-trawling for fish releases more carbon dioxide each year than Germany, a study has revealed, yet this is not included in national carbon accounts

Finance

Green Climate Fund

Green Climate Fund whistleblowers urge US to take its money elsewhere – until ‘toxic’ workplace is fixed

As John Kerry promises to “make good” on a $2 billion pledge to the GCF, the UN’s flagship fund faces critically low confidence in its senior management

Concerns raised about Green Climate Fund flood defence project in Samoa

Flood walls in Samoa financed by the UN’s flagship climate fund are inadequate and could put people in danger, experts warn

US campaigners call on Joe Biden to commit $8bn to the Green Climate Fund

A letter signed by 46 climate and green groups urges the White House to fulfill its $2bn outstanding pledge to the UN-backed fund and double its initial contribution

UN fund pays Indonesia for forest protection as deforestation rises

Campaigners accuse the Green Climate Fund of letting governments game the UN’s Redd+ forest protection scheme, as Indonesia is awarded $103 million

‘Historic opportunity’ – Climate Weekly

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Coronavirus enters Liberia after observer returns from Green Climate Fund meeting

The GCF’s board meeting was held in Switzerland after some members objected to hold the session online, one delegate said

Democratic contenders in Iowa caucus aim to rejoin Paris accord in green goals

Candidates pledged to boost climate finance for developing nations and break US dependence on fossil fuels

How to make the Green Climate Fund a better force for change

Vastly more of the fund’s money should go to projects that adapt to the impacts of climate change

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

DR Congo campaigners take minister to court over illegal logging rights claims

Environment minister Claude Nyamugabo is accused of violating a moratorium on logging in the Congo rainforest, by awarding concessions the size of Wales

Carney’s carbon offset taskforce ducks environmental integrity questions

As the UN special envoy for climate action and finance unveils plans to scale up the voluntary carbon market, campaigners warn big gaps remain on quality standards

China launches world’s largest carbon market for power sector

China’s national emissions trading scheme could become a significant lever for climate action, but experts warn that it will do little to curb emissions in the short term

UN-led carbon market suspends formal project registration after 2020

Countries are under mounting pressure to resolve carbon trading rules at Cop26, as the future of the Clean Development Mechanism hangs in the balance

Brazil sets ‘indicative’ goal of carbon neutrality by 2060

Brazil is seeking to join the net zero club, but campaigners denounced its pledge as meaningless while deforestation rises under President Bolsonaro

Mark Carney oversees blueprint for scaling up carbon market as offset demand soars

With more and more businesses setting net zero emissions targets, the voluntary carbon market needs stronger quality control to scale up, says UN special envoy

Peru and Switzerland sign ‘world first’ carbon offset deal under Paris Agreement

In an agreement that took two years to negotiate, Peru will get finance for sustainable development projects while Switzerland takes credit for the emissions cuts

Fate of UN-led carbon market to be decided behind closed doors

The executive board is considering an extension of the Clean Development Mechanism beyond 2020, under industry pressure but with no political mandate

Carbon markets

Carbon bubble

Oil tanker investments at risk from climate action, report says

Strong action on climate change would shrink demand for vessels by a third, impacting investment decisions being made now, analysts say

Asset managers worth $15 trillion make climate risk promise to Macron

The French president gathered the world’s biggest investors this week to push them to back climate-friendly projects

Gas companies face Californian wipe-out, say S&P, Moody’s

Ratings agencies say the state’s bid to go 100% renewable poses a ‘significant threat’ to gas generators’ credit stability

Australian bank sued over failure to disclose climate risks

Shareholders are taking the Commonwealth Bank to court, alleging that it is misleading investors about its financial position

Planned gas investments will blow 1.5C climate target, say analysts

Report by Climate Action Tracker warns that overly bullish gas demand forecasts will lead to stranded assets or an unsafe future climate

Exxon shareholders win ‘historic’ climate vote against board’s advice

Shareholders in world’s largest private oil company won a victory that signals deep unease about climate change amongst major investors

Exxon shareholder rebellion gains momentum ahead of climate vote

Major investors BlackRock and Vanguard could tip the balance and force oil firm to publicly divulge risk clean technology and regulations pose to its business

UK is in no position to lecture Saudis on oil dependence

PM Theresa May has offered to help wean Saudi Arabia off oil, but her government’s subsidies to North Sea producers are a poor model for the Middle East petrostate

Carbon bubble

Climate finance

South Sudan plans to raise climate ambition amid ‘dire’ humanitarian crisis

The world’s newest country is seeking to expand renewable energy, tree planting and climate smart agriculture, but UK aid cuts threaten progress

Angola’s oil dependency thwarts its exit from the group of poorest nations

Graduation from the UN group of least developed countries is usually seen as a win, but Angola deferred the move after oil exports plummeted during the pandemic

Three ways the EU, China and US should deepen cooperation on climate in 2021

Building coalitions on green finance and carbon pricing and putting climate at the heart of diplomacy will allow the big three emitters to deliver on net zero goals

Covid-19 normalised social protection. Now apply it to the climate crisis

Almost every country rolled out measures such as cash transfers, food and sick pay to cope with coronavirus. Victims of climate shocks need the same support

John Kerry promises ‘significantly’ more climate finance at adaptation summit

Presidential climate envoy John Kerry said the US would work to protect the vulnerable and make amends for a four-year absence from international climate action

UK plans climate donor summit to address ‘dismal’ support for poorer nations

The presidency of next year’s Cop26 climate talks will bring vulnerable countries and donors together to address climate and development challenges

UK aid budget cuts undermine trust ahead of Cop26 summit, experts warn

As developing countries prepare to negotiate a scaling up of climate finance at next year’s Cop26, the UK host faces criticism for reneging on its aid commitment

EIB approves €1 trillion green investment plan to become ‘climate bank’

The EU investment arm’s climate roadmap ends lending to airport expansions but does not require all the bank’s intermediaries to have decarbonisation plans

Climate finance

Divestment

Malaysian bank to phase out coal finance, in a victory for campaigners

CIMB has been hailed as the first major bank in an emerging market to publish a coal exit strategy, after investing $2.6 billion in the sector last decade

Coronavirus: investors and policymakers must shift to increase resilience

Incentives for long-term sustainability, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, more telework are all needed to make the global economy resilient to shocks like Covid-19

South Korea urged to exit coal by 2029 to stick to Paris climate agreement

Climate Analytics research group calls on Seoul to phase out existing coal-fired power plants, stop new construction and halt funds for coal projects in other Asian nations

‘Trundling over to Africa’ – Climate Weekly

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Trump criticises ‘prophets of doom’ in Davos and touts fossil fuels

Trump, Thunberg set out radically different visions for the economy and climate in the 21st century

Finally saying the F-words at UN climate talks 

International negotiations have always focused on carbon emissions, not the coal, oil and gas that create them. That’s changing

European Central Bank should ‘gradually eliminate’ carbon assets: Lagarde

Nominee to lead the bank told MEPs it could adopt new measures to prefer green investments if she is confirmed

European Investment Bank moots fossil fuel lending ban

The world’s largest development bank proposed a pivot to clean energy, in a draft plan for consideration by EU finance ministers in September

Divestment

Green bonds

Exclusive: Japan uses ‘environmental’ fund to finance Vietnamese coal plant

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation approved a loan to the controversial Vung Ang 2 coal project from a facility intended for “environmental preservation”

Ex-UN climate chief calls for green bonds to hit $1 trillion by 2020

Christiana Figueres is urging public authorities and corporates to scale up climate-friendly infrastructure investment by 2020, under the “green bond pledge”

India raises $400m green bond to fund renewables drive

Money raised by the Power Finance Corporation will support solar and wind projects, contributing to national renewables target of 175GW capacity by 2022

Fiji announces $50m ‘climate bond’ ahead of COP23 presidency

Prime minister Frank Bainimarama says money raised with help from the World Bank sets an example for innovative green finance to protect the vulnerable

China is taking the green bond market by storm

Beijing’s sustainable finance push is bearing fruit, with a world-leading $36.9bn worth of green bonds issued last year

Risky business: G20 panel to order climate stress tests

Donald Trump’s US election win may damage the Paris climate deal, but climate risk reporting rules for businesses could radically change the investment landscape

Poland green bond issue will not fund coal, says official

Investors are sceptical about Warsaw bid to finance renewables, given its coal-heavy energy policy

UK pitches China for climate-friendly finance trillions

London’s expertise places it in pole position to channel private finance to China, as superpower seeks to invest around $4 trillion a year in infratsructure

Green bonds