Finance

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

EU’s border tax gives countries 5 years to clean up industries or face penalties

Unpopular among the bloc’s trading partners, countries are seeking exemptions to the carbon levy, as Brussels hints alternatives to pricing may be considered to dodge the tax

G20 backs carbon pricing, ‘raising stakes’ among emerging economies

The EU’s threatened carbon tariff on imports has spurred trading partners like Indonesia and Turkey to consider making polluters pay at home

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

G20 ministers must scale up climate finance in solidarity with vulnerable countries

As environment ministers for Costa Rica and Grenada, we call on the G20 to give our countries a fair shot at a resilient Covid recovery

As Elsa heralds a busy hurricane season, Caribbean states count on resilience plans

After the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria in 2017, Caribbean islands invested in measures to help communities bounce back from extreme weather

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

‘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

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 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

Finance

Green Climate Fund

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

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

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

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

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

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

G7 offers ‘peanuts’ to developing world, putting climate ambition in doubt

While Canada and Germany set out new climate finance pledges, rich countries are still falling short of a target they promised to meet in 2020

G7 leaders told solidarity with poorer nations is critical to Cop26 success

The UK is hoping to broker agreements on climate finance and vaccine support to developing countries when G7 leaders meet in Cornwall next week

The EIB won’t become a climate bank until it fully stops supporting fossil fuels

The bank has committed to end fossil fuel financing by the end of the year but has handed out billions in support for companies wedded to the industry

US, UK and Norway launch $1bn initiative to protect tropical forests

The Leaf Coalition aims to mobilise $1 billion of public and private finance this year to cut emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

US pledges to double international climate finance at Earth Day summit

Joe Biden made a start on restoring US climate credibility after four lost years, with finance and emissions pledges, but campaigners say more is needed

Pakistan explores debt-for-nature scheme to accelerate its 10 billion tree tsunami

Creditors could grant Pakistan debt relief in exchange for meeting nature restoration targets, under a proposed first-of-its-kind bond

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

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