COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

UNFCC COP21 Paris 2015As the Paris COP21 is rapidly getting close to its conclusion, one thing is becoming clearer than ever: the role that businesses will play. The role of  the global finance world has in order to get to a substantial change, is crucial.

Basically, it is unlikely that an effective agreement will be possible without a meaningful resolution to the “question of finance”. Many actions were already taken and financial institutions say they are determined this time to deliver concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s try to analyse how thing are going and what still the main open questions may be around the meeting rooms of the north-eastern suburb of Paris.

Climate changes and business

The World Bank last Monday declared that 26 financial institutions from developing and developed countries signed the voluntary “Principles to Mainstream Climate Action within Financial Institutions”, pledging to integrate climate considerations into their investment portfolio.

These principles lay out a clear “pathway for financial institutions to integrate climate change into their operations” with the aim to deliver “more sustainable, short and long term results, both developmentally and financially”, as stressed by Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change.

Norway’s commitment

On the same day, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced plans to scale up Norway’s commitments to the Green Climate Fund. Speaking at the Paris climate conference, Prime Minister Solberg stressed the importance of climate finance and Norway’s support for the Fund.

“The Green Climate Fund is now ready for business. I am pleased to announce today that Norway will significantly increase its contributions”, she stated. “If the Fund secures verified emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, we will double our contribution by 2020,” she then added.

A Green Bank Network

Like the Green Climate Fund, which opened its initial resource mobilization in October 2014, another institution gathered the attention of both media and the delegates that are working in Paris, the so-called “Green Bank Network”. Green banks basically are public entities which are created to partner and work closely with the private sector to increase clean energy investment and bring renewable energy financing into the mainstream. On December 7, six green banks and two nonprofit groups announced they are formally establishing a Network to enlarge their possibilities to bring funds to the green sector, something that has been seen as a major breakthrough as it has never been done before.

India and France’s pledge for solar energy

Moreover, a few days ago, India and France launched an International Solar Alliance to boost solar energy in developing countries. The initiative, which was launched on 30 November by Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi and French President Francois Hollande, includes now 120 countries.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the launch, said it must send a clear enough signal to investors to encourage the scaling up of solar and other renewable forms of energy and urged all the governments meeting in Paris to work in a spirit of cooperation and compromise to conclude an effective agreement.

Coal and the developing countries

But although the atmosphere around the temporary town of pavilions and stands in Le Bourget, Paris, is quite optimistic, some big questions are still open, or probably just one which is still the biggest. Despite many efforts and complex discussion, coal still represents the main source to generate robust economic growth and try to carry millions of people away from poverty in developing countries. All efforts to make those countries use carbon-free sources of energy must take into keen consideration that. Carbon is the key, once again.

Introducing carbon pricing

What businesses are currently discussing and asking for as a first action toward this problem is carbon pricing. Indeed the question is an old one, and it is quite simple. The idea is to make investments on low-carbon or carbon-free technologies more attractive by putting a cost on carbon use to be paid at the source. It’s basically shifting the costs to the source of the pollution, encouraging polluters to reduce emissions and invest in clean energy and low-carbon growth.

Now the introduction of a framework for favouring global carbon pricing through a system of permits, would ensure that emissions are cut with less government interference, many business players are reportedly saying, in a truly efficient way. A COP21 side event held on December 5 was focused entirely on that delicate matter. “Putting a price on carbon is essential for success in the international response to climate change”, said participants in an official statement.

“A necessary thing”

What carbon-pricing backers believe is that without a price, to be set by recognizing the damaging effects of emitting greenhouse gases, efforts to address climate change “will be inefficient and likely too slow to avoid its worst effects”, as the statement reports. Pricing carbon is “not the only thing, but a necessary thing,” underscored Ms. Kyte from the World Bank Group, involved also on the carbon pricing side. “We have to take carbon pollution out of our growth model,” she continued.

A greater space for business

All in all, after many concrete actions and the efforts Paris COP21 brought together, as described above, it seems that only a real shared plan will deliver concrete moves to tackle climate changes. So besides the fact that carbon may be the biggest problem we have, finding a common plan seems to be quite a knot as well.

In that scenario, businesses claim they haven’t had enough space in the UN-sponsored talks in Paris, where governments dominated the scene. “We need to have a greater say in this process,” Norine Kennedy, from the US Council for International Business, told the Financial Times.

Market-generated solutions

Indeed COP21 has been a huge “market place” of different interests and voices, where more than 180 countries are currently publishing climate action plans. The need of a market-inspired solution and the involvement of businesses are slowly becoming important aspects that should be considered not only toward concrete moves but also for future major events on climate changes.

“Top-down” government plans, which are always painful and complex, will only partially bring good results, both for the economy and for the planet. In the green “market place” there is always though the strong will to preserve the economic development.



















Featured Stings

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

How many more financial crises in the West can the world stand?

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

European Confederation of Junior Enterprises hosts in Geneva the Junior Enterprise World Conference

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

German elections: Is Merkel losing ground or Shultz is winning?

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

The three US financial war fleets

Can the EU afford a trade war with China?

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

Draghi’s top new year resolution: Quantitative Easing

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

A rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Yemen

From Grexit to Brexit: UK industry now says the in/out referendum is good for your health

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

Eurozone: How safe are our deposits? Which banks will survive?

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

The US may be “open” to reviving TTIP, while the EU designs the future of trade with China

Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

The West castigates Turkey’s Erdogan for the ruthless political cleansing

Eurozone has practically entered a deflation trap

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

Managers’ pay under fire

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

Mario Draghi didn’t do it but Kim Jong-un did

E-Government can be a remedy for the crisis

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

EU is now giving Google new monopolies to the detriment of European citizens and Internet companies

EU Commission: Banking and energy conglomerates don’t threaten competition!

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

UK’s PM Theresa May asks for a two-year Brexit transition plan as negotiations round kicks off

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

Finally an answer to the hottest question of European youth today: How to make sure Juncker’s Investment Plan works for youth

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

China Unlimited: the dragon’s long and winding road

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s