Climate Change Archive

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The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy

Berlin, 07/20/2016 – Banks and insurers can play a crucial part in stabilizing the climate, while at the same time safeguarding their clients’ assets. Leading representatives of finance and climate research will discuss the best strategies for a turnaround in investing this Thursday in Berlin. The event is hosted by the Swiss global bank UBS, the French multinational insurance firm AXA, CDP, the European innovation initiative Climate-KIC, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Divestment – the diversion of capital from fossil fuel industries to green innovation and sustainable businesses – is a new approach to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, which could turn out to be a global “game changer”. The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy Already today, investments of billions of Euros are being redirected. Pioneered by students of wealthy US universities, divestment has reached financial big shots like Allianz […]

Berlin, 07/20/2016 – Banks and insurers can play a crucial part in stabilizing the climate, while at the same time safeguarding their clients’ assets. Leading representatives of finance and climate research will discuss the best strategies for a turnaround in investing this Thursday in Berlin. The event is hosted by the Swiss global bank UBS, the French multinational insurance firm AXA, CDP, the European innovation initiative Climate-KIC, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Divestment – the diversion of capital from fossil fuel industries to green innovation and sustainable businesses – is a new approach to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, which could turn out to be a global “game changer”.

The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy

Already today, investments of billions of Euros are being redirected. Pioneered by students of wealthy US universities, divestment has reached financial big shots like Allianz by now: the financial services company announced its intention to divest from its assets in coal mining. The foundation of the legendary US oil dynasty Rockefeller plans to divest their funds from the fossil fuel industry as well.

“The risks of climate change affect everyone and everything. When the finance sector now divests billions from the fossil business, this does not only reflect a moral responsibility but also makes good business sense,” says PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, co-initiator of the conference. “While weather extremes increase already, many of the biggest climate impacts, like the consequences of sea-level rise, will become perceptible only after it would be too late to act. Therefore it is important for the finance sector to recognize the warnings of science and to ramp up sustainable investments as soon as possible. The Paris Agreement substantiates that the nations of the world aim at reaching zero emissions by 2050. This means we are now in year one of the Great Transformation. Whoever still invests in coal and oil will not only damage the environment, but eventually also lose a lot of money.”

“Recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change”

„As a global bank it is of major importance to recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change, in order to better prepare us and our clients,” says Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG. “The financial sector is working hard to lay the foundations for filling gaps in financing climate action and to support nations in delivering on their corresponding commitments. We aim for a sensible long-term allocation of capital that is congruent with a low-carbon economy.”

Christian Thimann, Global Head of Strategy, Sustainability, and Public Affairs at AXA Group and Vice-Chair of the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, says: “Finance has an important role in addressing climate change, because it steers long-term investment. Investors need to understand how companies address climate change in their strategies, which goes well beyond the current carbon footprint. Under the mandate of the G20 and the Financial Stability Board, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure seeks to develop consistent voluntary disclosures by companies and enhance investor understanding of climate-related business risks and opportunities. Such disclosures and better investor understanding will foster implementation of the COP21 agreement.”

„Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent”

Susan Dreyer, CDP Country Director Germany, Austria, Switzerland adds: „Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent and can be a valuable method to manage portfolio risk, given climate risks are becoming more urgent every day. Having built a platform for transparent and comparable climate strategies, into which 5600 companies worldwide are voluntary reporting today, CDP knows of the impact investor engagement can unfold. Shareholder resolutions or setting joint reduction targets are good examples. And yet, the clear signal from both civil society and investors that fossil based business models do not have a future in the decarbonized world of 2050, is helpful and needed.”

Among the distinguished speakers are also Rainer Baake, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for international climate negotiations at COP 21, Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and high-ranking finance representatives, from the major bank HSBC to Union Investment, from the central bank of the Netherlands to the French Ministry of Finance.

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How to Finance a Sustainable World Economy

Berlin, 07/20/2016 – Banks and insurers can play a crucial part in stabilizing the climate, while at the same time safeguarding their clients’ assets. Leading representatives of finance and climate research will discuss the best strategies for a turnaround in investing this Thursday in Berlin. The event is hosted by the Swiss global bank UBS, the French multinational insurance firm AXA, CDP, the European innovation initiative Climate-KIC, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Divestment – the diversion of capital from fossil fuel industries to green innovation and sustainable businesses – is a new approach to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, which could turn out to be a global “game changer”.

The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy

Already today, investments of billions of Euros are being redirected. Pioneered by students of wealthy US universities, divestment has reached financial big shots like Allianz by now: the financial services company announced its intention to divest from its assets in coal mining. The foundation of the legendary US oil dynasty Rockefeller plans to divest their funds from the fossil fuel industry as well.

“The risks of climate change affect everyone and everything. When the finance sector now divests billions from the fossil business, this does not only reflect a moral responsibility but also makes good business sense,” says PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, co-initiator of the conference. “While weather extremes increase already, many of the biggest climate impacts, like the consequences of sea-level rise, will become perceptible only after it would be too late to act. Therefore it is important for the finance sector to recognize the warnings of science and to ramp up sustainable investments as soon as possible. The Paris Agreement substantiates that the nations of the world aim at reaching zero emissions by 2050. This means we are now in year one of the Great Transformation. Whoever still invests in coal and oil will not only damage the environment, but eventually also lose a lot of money.”

“Recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change”

„As a global bank it is of major importance to recognize the possible economic and social impacts of climate change, in order to better prepare us and our clients,” says Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG. “The financial sector is working hard to lay the foundations for filling gaps in financing climate action and to support nations in delivering on their corresponding commitments. We aim for a sensible long-term allocation of capital that is congruent with a low-carbon economy.”

Christian Thimann, Global Head of Strategy, Sustainability, and Public Affairs at AXA Group and Vice-Chair of the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, says: “Finance has an important role in addressing climate change, because it steers long-term investment. Investors need to understand how companies address climate change in their strategies, which goes well beyond the current carbon footprint. Under the mandate of the G20 and the Financial Stability Board, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure seeks to develop consistent voluntary disclosures by companies and enhance investor understanding of climate-related business risks and opportunities. Such disclosures and better investor understanding will foster implementation of the COP21 agreement.”

„Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent”

Susan Dreyer, CDP Country Director Germany, Austria, Switzerland adds: „Divestment is one of the most potent signals of investor discontent and can be a valuable method to manage portfolio risk, given climate risks are becoming more urgent every day. Having built a platform for transparent and comparable climate strategies, into which 5600 companies worldwide are voluntary reporting today, CDP knows of the impact investor engagement can unfold. Shareholder resolutions or setting joint reduction targets are good examples. And yet, the clear signal from both civil society and investors that fossil based business models do not have a future in the decarbonized world of 2050, is helpful and needed.”

Among the distinguished speakers are also Rainer Baake, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for international climate negotiations at COP 21, Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and high-ranking finance representatives, from the major bank HSBC to Union Investment, from the central bank of the Netherlands to the French Ministry of Finance.

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Electrification Financing Initiative ElectriFI invites proposals

The Electrification Financing Initiative, ElectriFI opens its doors on 15 April and interested parties can submit their project proposals through www.electrifi.org. ElectriFI is an innovative mechanism to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. The initiative was launched by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr Neven Mimica, at the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and was also acknowledged by the G7 Leaders’ Declaration. The implementation of the initial € 75 million allocation to ElectriFI was entrusted to the European Development Finance Institutions led by the Dutch Development Bank. This first EU contribution to ElectriFI will support investments that can improve the lives of more than six million people living principally in rural, underserved areas, promote rational use of energy for productive uses and social services benefiting the bottom of the pyramid. For […]

The Electrification Financing Initiative, ElectriFI opens its doors on 15 April and interested parties can submit their project proposals through www.electrifi.org.

ElectriFI is an innovative mechanism to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.

The initiative was launched by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr Neven Mimica, at the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and was also acknowledged by the G7 Leaders’ Declaration.

The implementation of the initial € 75 million allocation to ElectriFI was entrusted to the European Development Finance Institutions led by the Dutch Development Bank.

This first EU contribution to ElectriFI will support investments that can improve the lives of more than six million people living principally in rural, underserved areas, promote rational use of energy for productive uses and social services benefiting the bottom of the pyramid.

For further information

More information on ElectriFI can be found on www.electrifi.org including the application form. This is the first round of Invitation to submit project proposals for ElectriFI and will be followed by another round in the last quarter of 2016.

More information on the EU development cooperation in sustainable energy.

Information on the European Development Finance Institutions and on the Dutch Development Bank FMO.

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How do forests contribute to our water needs? #IntlForestDay

Every year on the International Day of Forests we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is essential for life. Key messages 1. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs Forests are a key component of watershed management – an integrated approach of using natural resources in a given geographical area drained by a water course. It is by maintaining and providing high-quality freshwater that watershed areas have a pivotal role in the earth’s ecology and contribute significantly to the wealth and welfare of human societies. 2. About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas The populations of major cities such as […]

Every year on the International Day of Forests we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is essential for life.

Key messages

1. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs

Forests are a key component of watershed management – an integrated approach of using natural resources in a given geographical area drained by a water course. It is by maintaining and providing high-quality freshwater that watershed areas have a pivotal role in the earth’s ecology and contribute significantly to the wealth and welfare of human societies.

2. About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas

The populations of major cities such as Mumbai, Bogotá and New York rely on forests for their water supplies. This number will increase as urban centres grow in size and population.

3. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population – 8 out of 10 people – is exposed to high levels of threat to water security

By 2050, an extra 2.3 billion people are projected to be living in river basins under severe water stress, especially in North and South Africa, and South and Central Asia.

4. Forests act as natural water filters

Forests minimize soil erosion on site, reduce sediment in water bodies (wetlands, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers) and trap or filter water pollutants in the forest litter.

5. Climate change is altering forests’ role in regulating water flows and influencing the availability of water resources

Forests are at the forefront of reducing the effects of climate change. In respect of water, one benefit is forests’ cooling effect on the environment produced through evapotranspiration and the provision of shade. The impacts of climate change may also be manifested in an increase in catastrophes such as floods, droughts and landslides – all of which may be influenced by forest cover. Moreover, large-scale deforestation can have an impact on precipitation patterns.

6. Improved water resource management can show considerable economic gains

By 2030, the world is projected to face a 40 percent global water deficit under the business-as-usual climate scenario. However, every US$1 invested in watershed protection can save anywhere from US$7.5 to almost US$200 in costs of a new water treatment and filtration facility. In developing countries, a US$15 to US$30 billion investment in improved water resources management could have direct annual income returns in the range of US$60 billion.

7. Forests have a crucial role in building and strengthening resilience

When sustainably managed, forests contribute significantly to reducing soil erosion and the risk of landslides and avalanches, natural disasters which can disrupt the source and supply of freshwater. Forests protect and rehabilitate areas prone to soil degradation and erosion in upland areas.

Forests also reduce the effects of small-scale, frequent or local flooding, and prevent and reduce dryland salinity and desertification. Partial or complete removal of tree cover accelerates water discharge, increasing the risk of floods during the rainy season and drought in the dry season. However, the services provided by ecosystems around the world, particularly wetlands, are in decline. Between US$4.3 and US$20.2 trillion per year of ecosystem services were lost between 1997 and 2011 due to land use change.

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From Politics to Implementation: Bonn Conference for Global Transformation 2015

2015 sees the start of a new development and sustainability agenda. The United Nations post-2015 agenda sets new global goals that apply to all states equally, be they rich or poor, developing or industrialised, in the South or in the North. It is designed to firmly anchor the idea of sustainability in people’s minds.

This will require radical structural and institutional transformation, but most of all a change in our convictions, values and interests. Yet transformations do not follow a blueprint, which is what makes them so difficult to manage.

For this reason, the Bonn Conference for Global Transformation 2015, entitled ‘From Politics to Implementation’, will provide an opportunity for experienced decision-makers from all over the world to discuss strategies and solutions and to form new networks and alliances. Individuals from the fields of business, research and academia, civil society and policy-making are invited to share their experiences with one another and join forces to tackle the great challenges of our time.

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European Development Days close showing the way forward to a new development agenda

The European Development Days 2013 had a focus on building the new partnership for development.
Here is a live stream of the closing session

Speakers

  • Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia –
  • Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development
  • Paul Collier, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, UK
  • Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya Chair, Southern Voices on Post-MDGs, Centre for Policy Dialogue
  • Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
  • Simon Maxwell, Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute – Moderator
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African Countries’ Integrated Climate Resilience Solutions in the Water Sector | AfDB CIF Global 2012 Annual Report

AfDBTUNIS, Tunisia, February 27, 2013/ — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has laid out solutions some African countries are about to apply, with help from the AfDB and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), to respond to complex problems that climate change is creating on their combined sectors of water, food and energy.

The article, part of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF’s) newly released 2012 Annual Report “Creating the Climate For Change” (https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/sites/climateinvestmentfunds.org/files/2012_Annual_Report.pdf), reflects Africa’s uniquely challenging circumstances in the water sector caused by climate change with repercussions in the agricultural and energy fields, and countries’ work to apply innovative solutions with AfDB and CIF support.

Claiming that “by 2020 up to 250 million people in Africa are projected to be exposed to increased water stress with disastrous effects on Africa’s most vulnerable,” the article cites examples of countries which are set to apply innovative integrated approaches to strengthening their water, agricultural and energy sectors. In particular, countries are going to focus on two areas of response with AfDB and CIF support: creating more reliable and accurate climate information, and building more durable, climate-resilient infrastructure across the sectors.

With AfDB and CIF support, Niger plans to improve its climate observatory system, research and optimize climate modeling, strengthen its early warning system, and expand communication on climate information to end-users. After seven episodes of disastrous drought, the country expects with these investment to boost food production and control the flow of fresh water to fields and pastures. Mozambique, on the other hand, plans to reinforce rural roads and rehabilitate irrigation and drainage systems to withstand weather extremes and sea water intrusions.

The AfDB is an implementing agency of the four-year-old US $7.6 billion CIF. “Creating the Climate for Change” (https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/sites/climateinvestmentfunds.org/files/2012_Annual_Report.pdf) showcases the evolution of the global CIF portfolio of investments for climate action in 49 developing countries, and spells out the shift into active implementation supported by the CIF and its implementing agencies throughout the developing world.

For further information on the CIF projects supported by the AfDB, visit “Financing Change: the AfDB and CIF for a Climate-Smart Africa” (http://bit.ly/XMe1gc).

About the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

Established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the US $7.6 billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector, multilateral development banks, (MDBs) and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.

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“What am I?” wins Germanwatch award on Dialogue on Transformation

“What am I?” is a short film realized by the winner of the first award at Germanwatch’s new script competition.

Producers were asked to hand in script ideas along the lines of an ongoing NGO project called “Dialogue on Transformation”. The well-known guessing game “What am I?” is played by four friends all representing one of the multiple crises which could challenge the social-ecological equilibrium on earth: food crisis, climate crisis, depleting fossil fuel reserves and financial speculations. Soon, the four friends guess the roles they are representing – and the first easy going atmosphere darkens. They agree on a second round of the game – with changed signs: This time, they want to take positive solutions as their roles, and all of them unknowingly choose the same term: The Great Transformation.

This video received the special award:

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Risks of 4 Degree Hotter World by End of Century

All regions of the world would suffer – some more than others – but the report finds that the poor will suffer the most.

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2012 – The world is barreling down a path to heat up by 4 degrees at the end of the century if the global community fails to act on climate change, triggering a cascade of cataclysmic changes that include extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks and a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, according to a new scientific report released today that was commissioned by the World Bank.

Turn Down the Heat, a snapshot of the latest climate science prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Climate Analytics, says that the world is on a path to a 4 degree Celsius[1] (4°C) warmer world by end of this century and current greenhouse gas emissions pledges will not reduce this by much..

“A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2 degrees,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.”

The report says that the 4°C scenarios are potentially devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher under and malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased intensity of tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.

“The Earth system’s responses to climate change appear to be non-linear,” points out PIK Director, John Schellnhuber. “If we venture far beyond the 2 degrees guardrail, towards the 4 degrees line, the risk of crossing tipping points rises sharply. The only way to avoid this is to break the business-as-usual pattern of production and consumption.”

The report notes, however, that a 4°C world is not inevitable and that with sustained policy action warming can still be held below 2°C, which is the goal adopted by the international community and one that already brings some serious damages and risks to the environment and human populations.

“The world must tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively,” Kim said. “Greater adaptation and mitigation efforts are essential and solutions exist. We need a global response equal to the scale of the climate problem, a response that puts us on a new path of climate smart development and shared prosperity. But time is very short.”

The World Bank Group’s work on inclusive green growth has found that with more efficient and smarter use of energy and natural resources opportunities exist to drastically reduce the climate impact of development without slowing poverty alleviation or economic growth.

“While every country will take a different pathway to greener growth and balance their own need for energy access with energy sustainability, every country has green growth opportunities to exploit,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.

Those initiatives could include: putting the more than US$ 1 trillion of fossil fuel and other harmful subsidies to better use; introducing natural capital accounting into national accounts; expanding both public and private expenditures on green infrastructure able to withstand extreme weather and urban public transport systems designed to minimize carbon emission and maximize access to jobs and services; supporting carbon pricing and international and national emissions trading schemes; and increasing energy efficiency – especially in buildings – and the share of renewable power produced.

“This report reinforces the reality that today’s climate volatility affects everything we do,” Kyte said. “We will redouble our efforts to build adaptive capacity and resilience, as well as find solutions to the climate challenge.”

Kyte said, “The Bank commissioned the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics to make a summary analysis of the latest climate science, as a means to better understand the potential impact of a 4°C warmer world in developing countries.”

Executive Summary

Full Report

Quotes (approved for attribution) from global leaders on the World Bank “Turn Down The Heat” report and the climate challenge

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Up in Smoke – Film about Mike Hands and his Agroforestry system

This is a film about a technique that could save more carbon emissions annually than all global aviation. It is a film about one of the biggest contributors to tropical deforestation and global warming: slash and burn agriculture.

Up in Smoke feature doc – 4’30” trailer from Adam Wakeling on Vimeo.

The film follows British scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to perfect a sustainable farming technique to replace slash and burn farming in equatorial rainforests. And he’s found it.

Get more from Inga Foundation | Sustainable Solutions to Stop Slash and Burn, working with farmers and communities to halt the devastating practice of slash and burn agriculture by providing a sustainable, organic and low cost alternative: Inga alley-cropping.