Macron’s climate finance rally to accelerate global response to climate change

On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate Agreement, the French presidency organized an international summit to increase climate financing to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change. Government and business leaders were invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday (Dec. 12), including the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.

The US President Trump (who formalized the intention to withdraw from the global climate deal this summer) was not invited to the event, Time reports. According to Reuters, the United States’ participation is limited to only an official delegation from the Paris Embassy, but famous personalities such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Governor Jerry Brown participate in the meeting.

On the eve of the One Planet summit, Macron announced that 13 of the initial 18 “Make our Planet Great Again” grants have been be awarded to scientists based in the United States, including researchers from top US universities such as Princeton, Stanford and Harvard. The research grant program was launched by the French presidency after Trump in June said he was pulling the United States out of the global climate deal.

Although no internationally binding commitments are expected, the One Planet summit is set to showcase concrete actions and announcements from investors and institutions.

In a joint declaration, over 50 major global companies urged G20 leaders to “enable the international business community to play its role by establishing the necessary political and regulatory frameworks that allow an enhanced and more rapid decarbonization of the world’s economy, building on the principle of social equity”. The “International Business Declaration” was promoted by international organisations such as We Mean Business, Corporate Leaders Group and CDP, to urge governments to implement the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global paradigm shift. The Declaration, subscribed by companies such as Allianz, Iberdrola, Philips, Unilever and Virgin, urges the G20 countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and put a price on carbon to provide direction to investors and businesses.

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), led by Michael R. Bloomberg and established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), announced growing support from currently two hundred thirty-seven companies with a combined market capitalization of over USD6.3 trillion, including over 150 financial firms, responsible for assets of over USD81.7 trillion. The Task Force developed voluntary recommendations on climate-related information that companies should disclose to help investors, lenders, and others make sound financial decisions.

French insurer AXA announced it would quadruple its investments in environmentally-friendly projects to 12 billion euros by 2020 and would disinvest from companies that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal. It also said it would not insure new coal mines or oil sands projects, Reuters reports.

Nine European industrial companies (EDF, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Icade, Paprec, SNCF Réseau, SSE and TenneT) have pledged to further develop the green bond market and implement stringent reporting procedures. In total the nine companies have issued 26 billion euro in green bonds, which accounts for over 10 percent of total green bonds.

Norway’s private pension fund Storebrand, managing a total USD80 billion in assets, announced the launch of a USD1.3 billion fossil-fuel-free bond program, named Storebrand Global Kreditt IG, Reuters reports.


(Image: French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Nicolas Hulot at One Planet summit, Paris, 12 December 2017. Photo credit: Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire/Twitter)