Finance

In Malawi, dubious cyclone aid highlights need for loss and damage fund

Malawi’s Red Cross built 45 homes funded by a suspected Nigerian fraudster, which residents of Mchenga village say are unsafe

Paris summit unlocks cash for clean cooking in Africa, side-stepping concerns over gas

The gathering raised $2.2 billion for clean cooking in Africa, where four in five people still use polluting energy like charcoal – but some say LPG should not be promoted as a transition fuel

UN agrees carbon market safeguards to tackle green land grabs

Local communities will be able to officially challenge UN-registered carbon credit projects before and after they are up and running

Seismic shifts are underway to find finance for loss and damage

The new UN fund can channel taxes and other innovative ways of raising money to pay for climate loss and damage – we just have to decide to apply them

Loss and damage board speeds up work to allow countries direct access to funds

At its first meeting, the fund’s board decided to fast-track the selection of its host country so money can be disbursed as fast as possible to disaster-hit people

How to fix the finance flows that are pushing our planet to the brink

Commercial banks are financing a huge amount of fossil-fuel and industrial agriculture activities in the Global South – they must turn off the tap

G7 offers tepid response to appeal for “bolder” climate action

Climate and energy ministers from G7 nations agreed a coal exit deadline – with a caveat, but made little progress on other fossil fuels and finance

Southern Africa drought flags dilemma for loss and damage fund

Scientists blame the current drought on El Niño – which could exclude those affected from receiving aid for climate-change damage

Limiting frontline voices in the Loss and Damage Fund is a recipe for disaster

Representatives of groups hardest-hit by the climate crisis say restrictions on their participation at the fund’s first board meeting set a worrying precedent

Tensions rise over who will contribute to new climate finance goal

Germany wants all high-emitters, especially among G20 countries, to pitch in. But China and Saudi Arabia say the responsibility lies with developed nations

Finance

Green Climate Fund

In Somalia, Green Climate Fund tests new approach for left-out communities

GCF head Mafalda Duarte promises a more proactive plan to bring cash to the most vulnerable countries struggling with climate impacts

UN climate fund axes Nicaragua forest project over human rights concerns

In its first such move, the Green Climate Fund has pulled out of a project after developers failed to address environmental and social compliance issues

Green Climate Fund ambition at risk after ‘disappointing’ pledges

The UN’s flagship climate finance initiative can barely sustain its existing portfolio after a lackluster fundraising conference on Thursday

Green Climate Fund may have to curb ambition as funding stagnates

The UN’s flagship global climate fund looks likely to have to rein in its ambition, after France announced just a 4% boost in its contribution.

UN climate fund suspends project in Nicaragua over human rights concerns

The Green Climate Fund suspended a $117 million forest conservation project in Nicaragua over escalating violence against indigenous people.

After “sleepless nights”, governments strike deal on Green Climate Fund strategy

Developed countries pushed for more focus on private money while developing governments wanted more public money from rich nations

Germany promises €2bn to global Green Climate Fund

The pledge sets the bar for other wealthy countries and puts the fund on track for what it calls a “mid” level of ambition

UN’s Green Climate Fund too scared of risk, finds official review

The UN’s flagship climate fund is struggling to clearly manage risks in its projects, an independent review has found, making it wary of taking on high-impact projects in developing countries

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

SBTi needs tighter rules on companies’ indirect emissions

Businesses are not required to cut all their value chain emissions in line with a 1.5C warming limit – and allowing offsetting could weaken efforts further

Paraguay’s carbon deal with Singapore beset by lobbying, lax rules

UN rules governing bilateral carbon offsetting between governments have yet to be agreed but deals are being done, raising concerns about integrity

Fossil fuel firms seek UN carbon market cash for old gas plants

Fossil fuel companies that built gas power plants more than a decade ago are hoping for rewards from a new carbon credit market

“Shameful”: Shell uses carbon credits under investigation to meet climate targets

The oil and gas giant offset part of its emissions with over a million credits from Chinese projects suspended because of integrity concerns

Junk offset sellers push to enter new UN carbon market

Renewable energy schemes make up four-fifths of Kyoto-era projects hoping to keep selling offsets under Article 6, sparking concerns over the credibility of the new market.

Witness bribing minister’s family own Congolese carbon credit company

The minister Jean-Pierre Bemba bribed witnesses in his war crimes trial and holds power over the environment minister Eve Bazaiba

First ever Paris Agreement offsets face integrity questions

As Switzerland buys the first ever bilateral offsets, civil society’s analysis suggests the claimed emissions reductions from Thai buses would have happened anyway

Ten climate questions for 2024

The US election and negotiations on a new global finance target are the most important things for the climate in 2024

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

Fossil fuel debts are illegitimate and must be cancelled 

The Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF are a chance to transform outstanding debts for fossil fuel projects into grants for renewable energy systems

Expectations mount as loss and damage fund staggers to its feet

Demand for finance to pay for the aftermath of climate impacts is rocketing – but progress on getting a new UN loss and damage fund up and running is slow

Climate leaders, oil bosses pitch alternate energy-transition realities

As climate officials prepare the next steps in a globally agreed shift away from fossil fuels, oil and gas executives return fire

Shipping sector pushes to keep emissions-tax cash for itself

The industry and governments’ maritime ministries want a proposed levy on emissions spent on cleaning up shipping, not used for wider climate goals like loss and damage

Aid watchdog questions UK’s climate finance accounting

Britain has changed how it calculates its international climate aid, boosting its progress towards a 2026 goal without giving vulnerable countries more money

Blended finance can perpetuate climate colonialism

‘Blended finance’ took centre stage at Cop28, with the Green Climate Fund among its supporters. But there are still major problems with the concept that must be addressed before considering any further expansion.

For Cop29 to succeed, rich nations must get their parliaments to agree more finance now

Rich nations always say they need their parliaments approval for climate finance at Cops – now is the time to start

Six takeaways from 2023’s climate change news

Fossil fuel fights, finance struggles, a resurgent relationship, and much more. We recap the most impactful international climate developments in 2023.

Climate finance

Divestment

World Bank’s private sector arm to stop supporting new coal  

The International Finance Corporation is closing a loophole that allowed its financial clients to continue funding new coal projects 

Climate fund considers India, South Africa to pilot $2bn coal transition scheme

Climate Investment Funds CEO Mafalda Duarte has been tasked with mobilising private capital to help wean developing countries off coal and create cleaner jobs

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

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”

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

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

Green bonds