Macron's One Planet Summit elicits significant new global commitments
The One Planet Summit, hosted in Paris by French President, Emmanuel Macron, has been the stage for an extensive suite of new initiatives and commitments intended to mitigate and respond to climate change.
Launching the Summit, which was attended by 50 invited world leaders, President Macron warned that “we are losing the battle” against climate change.
“Those before us had an opportunity but didn't know as much as we know now. But over the past 20 years, we have come to know more and more”.
“We are not moving quickly enough,” he said.
The summit focused on the role of public and private financial institutions in influencing better and faster climate outcomes and meeting Paris Agreement targets.
Amongst the key announcements at the event were:
The European Commission announced funding of €9bn for action on climate change as part of the bloc’s External Investment Plan, to be focused on sustainable cities, clean energy and sustainable agriculture.
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, pledged £140m to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change.
The World Bank undertook to phase out its finance for oil and gas by 2019 (except in the poorest countries). It will present a stock-take of its Climate Change Action Plan and announce new commitments and targets beyond 2020 at COP24 in Poland in 2018, and will report greenhouse gas emissions from the investment projects it finances in key emissions-producing sectors, such as energy. It will also apply a 'shadow price' on carbon in the economic analysis of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association projects in key high-emitting sectors .
The World Bank also announced a partnership (https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GCoM-WB-Release-Final.pdf) with the Global Covenant of Mayors, investing $4.5 billion USD to provide technical and financial assistance to 150 cities across the world undertaking aggressive climate action programs. The lending will occur over the next three years under the umbrella of the World Bank’s City Resilience Program (CRP), and will draw on resources from IFC and MIGA to provide financial and technical assistance to 150 cities, including current and future Global Covenant cities, to drive climate ambitions and to build greater resilience to climate and disaster risks.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged US$300m over the next three years to provide smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with the means to protect their farms from the droughts, heatwaves and floods that are expected to be the result of a changing climate. The money will be spent through governments and direct grants.
Microsoft will spend $50m on artificial intelligence technology aimed at protecting the planet against climate change, through innovations in areas such as smart buildings and climate resilient agriculture.
Insurance company, Axa announced it will quadruple its green investment commitment to reach €12 billion by 2020, divest €2.4 billion from the coal industry and completely divest from the oil sands industry and associated pipelines (€700 million). It will also no longer insure any project to build a coal-fired power plant or any operation for oil sands mining or associated pipelines.
A new initiative, known as Climate Action 100+, led and developed by investors and supported and co-ordinated by five partner organisations from around the world, will see 225 of the most influential global institutional investors with more than USD $26.3 trillion in assets under management influence the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to step up their actions on climate change.The initial list of 100 target companies, which includes those within the oil and gas, electric power and transportation sectors, has been developed using CDP data on the companies’ combined direct and indirect emissions, including emissions associated with the use of their products.
The UK and Canadian governments confirmed the Powering Past Coal Alliance of countries, regions and business committed to phasing out the use of coal power has more than doubled since its launch at Bonn from 20 governments to 58 organisations, including businesses, utilities and investors. New signatories to the alliance include regional governments such as Alberta, California and Oregon; utilities such as EDF, Iberdrola and Ørsted; and corporate giants such as BT, Diageo, Kering, M&S, Salesforce, Unilever, and Virgin Group. Australia is not a member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
UN Environment and BNP Paribas signed an agreement to establish Sustainable Finance Facilities, collaborative partnerships aimed at raising development capital to drive sustainable economic growth in emerging countries. The partnership will identify suitable commercial projects with a target of capital funding of USD 10 billion by 2025 in developing countries. The aim is to support smallholder projects related to renewable energy access, agroforestry, water access and responsible agriculture among other sustainable activities.
La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), as well as asset managers Sarasin & Partners and Latin America-based SURA Asset Management joined the United Nations’ Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC). The Coalition now convenes 31 investors overseeing the gradual decarbonization of a total of more than USD 800 billion in assets under management (AUM).