Finance

Norway underpaid Indonesia for forest protection results, study argues

British research sheds light on why Indonesia might have cut ties with donors, finding that funds were inadequate to compete with palm oil sales

Germany backs gas as “transition” fuel in EU green finance guidelines

In a letter, Berlin stressed its opposition to nuclear while calling on the European Commission to ease restrictions on gas in the transition to clean energy

Haven of African elephants at risk, say park rangers decrying poor pay and conditions

Forest guards in Gabon say their salaries are often paid several months late and are threatening to go on strike

Typhoon Rai’s trail of destruction in the Philippines reignites loss and damage calls

More than 400 people were killed and seven million lost homes or livelihoods to the category 5 storm that hit the Philippines in December

EU lawmaker calls for carbon border tax revenues to boost climate finance

Support to clean up industries in least developing countries is necessary for the propose levy to comply with WTO rules, Mohammed Chahim argues

What to watch in 2022: critical moments and issues for climate diplomacy

An African Cop, landmark science reports and a long overdue biodiversity summit will shape the response to climate change this year

Brussels sets out new green aid rules, with ‘pragmatic exceptions’ for gas

The new guidelines include a special clause for natural gas, allowing member states with the lowest GDP to transition from coal to gas

How the Glasgow Dialogue can deliver finance for victims of the climate crisis

It is important to seize this opportunity to get dedicated support for people on the front lines of climate impacts, urgently and based on need

As EU seeks to rival China’s infrastructure offer, Africans are sceptical

Brussels is promising green infrastructure investment for African countries, but Beijing has a better reputation on the continent

China ‘trumps’ the west by pledging larger share of IMF relief to African nations

President Xi Jinping promised to share around a quarter of China’s pandemic recovery boost with Africa, more than European and American countries

Finance

Green Climate Fund

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

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

Green Climate Fund

Carbon markets

Big business must not be allowed to set the carbon trading agenda at Cop26

Delicate negotiations on carbon market rules in Glasgow could be thrown off course by the big banks’ push to “scale up” voluntary carbon trading

‘Chess game’ as negotiators seek elusive carbon market deal at Cop26

Agreeing on rules for a global carbon market has become a high-level political focus of the Glasgow summit but experts warn getting it wrong will undermine 1.5C ambition

We don’t have time to dismiss carbon markets as a climate solution

Concerns carbon markets could become a new form of colonialism are not unfounded – but with robust safeguards, they can deliver much-needed climate finance

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

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

‘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

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

African nations settled for ‘moral pact’ with US on adaptation finance at Cop26

With the US refusing to budge on the text of the Glasgow agreement, African nations reluctantly accepted a promise of stronger voluntary support

Mia Mottley: the ‘fearless’ leader pushing a global settlement for the climate frontlines

The first female prime minister of Barbados is elevating wonky discussions on the future of global finance to the highest political level

Climate reparations become a crunch issue as Cop26 goes into overtime

The US and EU have resisted calls for finance to the victims of climate disaster, but developing countries say it is a red line

Developing countries put a number on post-2025 climate finance ask: $1.3trn a year

African nations and a group of 24 “like-minded” countries that includes China and India accuse donor countries of ducking substantive talks on finance

Support for vulnerable nations could ‘make or break’ Cop26 talks

As ministers arrive in Glasgow to broker a political deal, a lack of aid for those on the front lines of climate impacts is a sore point

South Africa $8.5bn finance package offers a model for ending reliance on coal

The package was hailed as “groundbreaking” for being country-led and addressing a need to reskill and support coal miners

To close 1.5C gap, countries face call for another round of climate pledges by 2023

The Cop26 presidency is considering a proposal to strengthen ambition beyond the Glasgow summit, but it faces resistance from emerging economies

Donor countries set to reach $100bn climate finance target in 2023 – three years late

The UK presidency hopes a delivery plan for long-promised climate finance will start to restore trust ahead of Cop26, but experts warn late delivery means trouble

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