Outlook on Green Finance: Impetus Grows for Carbon Pricing, Clean Energy
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Over the past few days, announcements supporting carbon pricing and clean energy have been made.

Ten leaders have issued a joint vision statement laying out the goal of doubling the percentage of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by explicit carbon pricing to 25% by 2020, and of doubling it again to achieve 50% coverage within the next decade.

In separate news, over 25 countries have pledged to unleash a potential investment flow of up to US$1 trillion into solar assets.

And for its part, the New Development Bank has announced it will provide US$811 million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

cp_india_france_ndb25 April 2016: Over the past few days, announcements supporting carbon pricing and clean energy have been made. Ten leaders have issued a joint vision statement laying out the goal of doubling the percentage of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by explicit carbon pricing to 25% by 2020, and of doubling it again to achieve 50% coverage within the next decade. In separate news, over 25 countries have pledged to unleash a potential investment flow of up to US$1 trillion into solar assets. And for its part, the New Development Bank has announced it will provide US$811 million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

These initiatives will contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

In their joint vision statement issued on 21 April 2016, on the eve of the High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, six Heads of State and Government from Canada, Chile, Ethiopia, France, Germany and Mexico, two city and state leaders from California and Rio de Janeiro, and the Heads of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) urge the international community to deliver on the carbon pricing goal through actions along three pathways. These leaders are members of the Carbon Pricing Panel that was convened by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde ahead of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC.

The three pathways outlined in the vision statement are: broadening carbon pricing by implementing it in jurisdictions and sectors that currently do not have a price on carbon; deepening carbon pricing where it already exists by strengthening ambition and ensuring clear long-term price signals for investment, consistent with the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement; and enhancing international cooperation by facilitating and promoting the alignment or possible convergence of domestic carbon pricing programmes.

The long-term vision of the Panel enunciated in the joint statement is to implement carbon pricing on a global scale and to raise ambition sufficient to help hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, in line with article 2 of the Paris Agreement.

The Panel’s vision complements the work of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), which brings together 24 countries and more than 90 companies and strategic partners to support action on carbon pricing by mobilizing business support, and collecting and sharing best practices.

Supporting the call to expand carbon pricing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated: “Carbon pricing is an invaluable tool for redirecting investments and transforming markets to build low-carbon, climate-resilient economies that will drive prosperity, strengthen security and improve the health and well-being of billions of people.” Ségolène Royal, COP 21 President, emphasized carbon pricing as an essential tool for implementing the Paris Agreement, encouraging governments and companies to join the CPLC to share best practices.

Today, around 40 countries and 23 cities, States and regions around the world are using carbon pricing schemes, which are worth about US$50 billion and cover about 12% of global emissions. [Carbon Pricing Panel Vision Statement] [World Bank Press Release] [World Bank Feature Story]

At a ministerial event on the International Solar Alliance (ISA), held at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 22 April 2016, following the High-Level Signature Ceremony of the Paris Agreement, representatives from over 25 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru, Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Mali, India, the US and France, pledged to mobilize a US$1 trillion solar energy investment. The ministers also agreed to take concerted action to lower the costs of clean energy through targeted programmes launched on a voluntary basis. They further pledged to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for: solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of over US$1,000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries; mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up; and future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar research and development, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power and to increase the number of solar applications available.

Launched by India and France during COP 21, the ISA includes around 120 countries that support the promotion of solar energy. [UNFCCC Press Release] [India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Press Release]

The New Development Bank will provide US$811 million in a first round of 12-20 year loans for clean energy projects in four countries. Brazil will receive US$300 million to help build 600 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity. A US$250 million loan will go to India, with US$75 million earmarked for 500 MW of renewable energy projects. South Africa has secured a loan of US$180 million for power lines that can transmit 670 MW and transform 500 MW of renewable energy generation. China will receive an US$81 million loan to fund 100 MW of rooftop solar power.

The New Development Bank, formerly known as the BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) Bank, is a multilateral development bank launched by the BRICS group of countries in 2014. [New Development Bank Press Release] [Bloomberg Press Release]


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