Finance

Carbon offsets make a comeback – Climate Weekly

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World Bank branch indirectly backs coal megaproject despite green pledge

International Finance Corporation piloted its green equity policy with an Indonesian bank, which went on to fund a 2,000 MW coal complex

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

Oxfam: Rich countries are not delivering on $100bn climate finance promise

Nearly 80% of climate finance is in the form of loans that must be repaid, adding to the debt burden of the poorest countries, anti-poverty campaigners found

Debt is a climate issue – Climate Weekly

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Ballooning debt cripples poor countries’ hopes of green recovery from Covid

Vulnerable countries are struggling to survive the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, let alone build back better, as debts mount up

Campaigners confront IMF chief over green recovery contradictions

Analysis shows IMF advice to countries accessing Covid-19 emergency funds fails to systematically address climate risks and implicitly endorses fossil fuel subsidies

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

Finance

Green Climate Fund

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 replenishment fails to fill hole left by Trump’s US

After the US, Russia, and Australia did not contribute, other developed countries fell $500m short of the fund’s starting capital

As rich countries slow walk green finance, Putin offers Africa an alternative

Two summits in one week presented a choice for African leaders: stalled promises of climate finance in Paris or business deals in Sochi

Poor countries will hold the rich to account on climate finance

The major UN climate fund is running short of money, will rich countries live up to the promises they have given?

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

Despite socialist scepticism, Cuba shows interest in carbon trading

In its national climate plan, Cuba indicated it would like to sell carbon credits on an international market, a concept previously opposed by socialist allies

‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules

EU member states will back an industry proposal to reduce airlines’ climate obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, at the UN aviation forum

Delay to climate talks deepens uncertainty over future of carbon markets

Project developers in poor countries are struggling to attract finance, as deadlock on international carbon trading rules cannot be resolved before November 2021

Airlines could get free pass on climate for five years under industry proposal

The industry is lobbying to rewrite the rules of a UN aviation pact, in a move researchers say would remove pressure to invest in clean flying technology

Airlines urge UN body to ease climate goals for 2020s as traffic collapses

Airlines’ trade association says current plans to offset greenhouse gas emissions from a 2019-2020 baseline would put an ‘inappropriate economic burden on the sector’

Putting the brakes on – Climate Weekly

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Coronavirus may toughen airlines’ goals for curbing emissions in 2020s

Coronavirus likely to lower a key 2019-20 baseline for average aviation emissions that will force more carbon offsets if flights rebound in 2020s

Australia’s carbon accounting plan for Paris goals criticised as ‘legally baseless’

Legal experts wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning the use of old carbon credits to meet the country’s 2030 goals would set a ‘dangerous precedent’

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

The EIB has further to go to become the “EU Climate Bank”

The European Investment Bank should stop supporting airport expansion and close the loopholes in its policy against lending to fossil fuels

UK aid and foreign ministry merger raises fears for politicisation of climate finance

The move puts Britain’s economic interests abroad above efforts to eliminate poverty and protect the most vulnerable, experts warn

Coronavirus delays work to protect the world’s poor from climate shocks

Travel restrictions and patchy internet access are slowing down efforts to improve resilience to weather extremes like cyclones Amphan and Nisarga

Clean energy is vital to the Covid-19 response in the world’s poorest countries

Renewable mini-grids can power health facilities and irrigation systems, making communities more resilient to future pandemics and climate shocks

Merkel: don’t neglect climate finance to the world’s poor

As rich countries spend billions bailing out industries hit by the Covid-19 slump, the German chancellor urged them not to forget their climate commitments

Net zero goal ‘greatest commercial opportunity of our time,’ says Mark Carney

Incoming UN special envoy, Cop26 president Alok Sharma and ECB president Christine Lagarde set out agenda for private finance at UN climate talks

Cop25: What was achieved and where to next?

After two weeks of talks, many issues remain unresolved. Here we break down the major fights and minor breakthroughs of the UN conference in Madrid

In depth: The EU’s plan to become the first climate-neutral continent

CHN’s media partner EURACTIV takes a look at the ‘king of policies’ that will define Europe’s future, just as the EU finally looks ready to adopt it

Climate finance

Divestment

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

Children made climate an election issue. Now we’ll target banks that fuel fossils

The EU election showed voters have heard the school strikers’ call for action. But will the public institutions that finance coal, oil and gas projects also listen?

Divestment

Green bonds

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 must keep the green promise

Robust standards are urgently needed to channel capital debt markets into climate-friendly projects, says WWF France chief Pascal Canfin

Green bonds