Finance

‘Breakthrough’: IMF develops fund to help debt-laden nations address climate risks

The IMF trust fund could be worth up to $50 billion and meet vulnerable countries’ call for support to address the triple crisis of debt, Covid and climate change

Heat rises on donor countries to meet overdue $100bn climate finance promise

Nearly 150 green groups have told rich governments they must make up for missing their climate aid target by delivering $600bn in total 2020-25

Japan eyes international carbon offsets to deliver 2030 emission cuts

Campaigners accused Japan of failing to take responsibility for cutting its own emissions and relying on developing nations to do so

The IEA is embracing 1.5C ambition, leaving no excuse for new fossil fuel investment

In a fundamental shift in mainstream thinking, the world’s most influential energy body has for the first time put a net zero scenario at the heart of its forecasting

Dispute grips Green Climate Fund over net zero condition for accessing finance

Board members from developing countries insisted that making a 2050 net zero goal a condition for accreditation to the fund breaches equity principles

GCF considers renewed partnership with UNDP, amid corruption investigations

The Green Climate Fund board has been advised to re-accredit the UN development agency, despite unresolved corruption claims against projects in Samoa and Armenia

Defunding dirty energy – Climate Weekly

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Why I refuse to collude with polluters in the carbon offsetting lie

The industry-led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets is pitching carbon offsets as a win for the Global South. This is greenwashing at its most patronising

US to double climate finance again, but gap remains to $100bn

Joe Biden announced an increased US contribution to climate action in developing countries at the UN general assembly on Tuesday

Latest data shows rich countries little closer to $100bn climate finance promise

OECD figures show international climate finance increased by just 2% from 2018 to 2019, leaving a $20 billion shortfall to the 2020 target

Finance

Green Climate Fund

Row erupts at Green Climate Fund over who defines climate adaptation

Two adaptation projects didn’t make it pass the UN’s flagship fund’s technical panel, while board members decide to partner with a fossil fuel backing Japanese bank

Joe Biden’s $1.2bn budget for Green Climate Fund falls short of campaigner demands

The proposed US contribution to the UN’s flagship climate fund this year is not enough to catch up with other donors

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

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

‘Hot air’ carbon offset scheme undermines Colombia’s climate goal, experts warn

Colombia stands to lose $62m in carbon tax revenue and underperform its emissions targets due to flawed forest carbon credit projects, investigators claim

Shell’s net zero plan will be judged on science, not spin

Shell’s net zero plan is better seen as a defence of its core oil and gas business, which it is planning to expand, than a genuine energy transition

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

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

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

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

EU commits €4 billion more to climate vulnerables, calls on the US to step up

Ursula Von der Leyen called out the US for failing to deliver its fair share of climate cash – an issue poor nations say is critical to success at Cop26

Displaced Afghan negotiator calls for climate aid to war-torn states

Ahmad Samim Hoshmand, a top climate official before he fled the Taliban, says Afghans need support more than ever to cope with climate impacts

The future of humanitarian aid? Pilot scheme stops drought leading to hunger

An early intervention approach tested in Pakistan and Senegal unlocks aid for predictable and predicted extreme weather before communities suffer

The climate crisis is intensifying. So why is climate finance drying up?

As the IPCC warns of intensifying climate impacts, rich countries must deliver on their funding promises and set new commitments to the developing world

South Africa proposes global goal for adaptation at pre-Cop26 ministerial

Environment minister Barbara Creecy called for quantifiable improvements in resilience to climate impacts, to give the adaptation agenda the same weight as emissions cuts

Developing nations put numbers on the table for the next climate finance goal

Nearly 100 developing countries have come together to define what success means at Cop26, raising the stakes for donor countries to step up their finance pledges

Argentina pitches green debt swap, with the Pope’s blessing

Pope Francis is the unlikely champion of a pioneering green debt relief plan for Argentina, but it is a politically sensitive issue in his home country

Norway pays Gabon $17m for forest protection despite deforestation spike

While proponents say results-based payments can support forest protection in the long term, critics say the Gabonese government has done little to earn the money

Climate finance

Divestment

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

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

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