Climate idea

United Nations

Climate idea

Governments and private institutions must step up climate and conservation finance!

The world is falling far short of the investments needed to stop the accelerating climate catastrophe. In fact, governments are spending around half a trillion dollars each year subsidizing fossil fuels. And global investments that degrade nature exceed conservation efforts by USD 600-852 billion annually. This must change dramatically: 1. Public climate and nature conservation investments must get bigger and more efficient. We must end fossil fuel subsidies and invest this money in renewable energy and energy efficiency instead. We must act on the transformation opportunities offered by global crises rather than falling back on bad habits. And a carbon price that accounts for future climate change damages ($185/tonne of CO2, according to a recent study in the journal Nature) can incentivize decarbonization and increase financing. We must also stop supporting deforestation and invest in nature protection and restoration. 2. Private finance must step up. Financial institutions such as asset owners, banks, institutions, and insurers, must align financial flows with sustainable, prosperous growth, move investments in fossil fuels to renewable energy, and end deforestation and other destruction of nature. 3. The public and private sectors must work together on creating an enabling environment. Close collaboration between policymakers, development banks, and financial institutions would lower the risk of investment in new projects and enable the financing of sustainable, climate-friendly development. For example, the Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance is spearheading a push for blended finance, which uses public and philanthropic capital to improve the risk/return profiles of investment opportunities for the private sector. 4. Trade can and should support the decarbonization of economies. A circular economy, where materials and commodities are reused and repurposed, can slash CO2 emissions. Trade policy can promote the circular economy transition through standards in trade-related production and processing, with the support of digital technology on supply chains. We can reduce trade barriers in low-carbon technologies, which are currently more prevalent than barriers in the fossil fuel sector. Regional Trade Agreements offers opportunities for countries to cooperate and coordinate trade policies in support of environmentally sound and energy-efficient technologies. Wealthy countries can help least developed countries to increase standards of living without increasing CO2 emissions or sacrificing the environment. For more:

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  • Ted Weber

    29 w

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