Image of COP President Alok Sharma

16.05.2022

COP President Alok Sharma marks 6 months to COP27

10 minute read

Mr Sharma’s speech at The Scottish Event Campus, reflecting on the progress made since COP26 and what more is needed ahead of COP27.

“If you could stop climate tragedy unfolding further you would, wouldn’t you?”

That question, which we have just heard Emi Mahmoud ask so articulately, hung over COP26. 

It was the question world leaders faced as they entered the plenary rooms. 

It was the question negotiators grappled with through the nights. 

The question to which the world was waiting for an answer. 

And on the final day countries gave their response. 

Here, at the SEC, they agreed the historic Glasgow Climate Pact.

This forges a path to a clean global future,

it keeps alive the possibility of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees celsius, 

and it told a watching world that leaders could and would stop tragedy unfolding before their eyes.  

As I said at the time, in doing so, countries demonstrated what the world had come to doubt, 

that nations can rise above their differences to unite against a common challenge; 

And that the international system can deliver. 

That is why, as Peter has just said, although those two weeks in November were intense, and they were difficult, 

it was an extraordinary privilege to play my part at COP26, in the role of Shepherd-in-Chief. 

And I in turn want to thank Glasgow Council, the Scottish Government, and Peter and his team for all their efforts in hosting the event, 

and of course our principal partners for their support. 

And I will always be grateful to the people of Glasgow for the warmth of their welcome; 

which was commented on by so many ministers and negotiators from across the globe. 

This great City has earned its name as the “Dear Green Place” in the hearts of delegates from around the world. 

And so it is right that we are donating items from COP26 to support the local community. 

6000 items of furniture have been given to charities and community groups. 

Miles of carpet have been divided up between 1800 families. 

And over 600 laptops will support local people who need them, including Ukrainian refugees. 

This is a fitting final act for a summit that met the highest standards of sustainability, as our Sustainability Report, published today, demonstrates. 

Six months have now passed since Presidents and Prime Ministers came to Glasgow, 

since the SEC held the biggest international summit the United Kingdom has ever hosted. 

And in that time, the world has changed. 

The clouds have darkened over the international landscape. 

War, has returned to Europe. 

The tectonic plates within our geopolitics have shifted. 

Inflation is spiking around the world.

Debt is mounting.

Energy prices are rising. 

And globally, people are struggling to feed their families, all as we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic. 

Now as a result, climate is understandably no longer on the front pages as it was in the lead up to, and at, COP26. 

Yet the current crises should increase, not diminish, our determination to deliver on what the world agreed here in Glasgow.

Because they show with devastating clarity, why it is imperative to do so. And to do so now.

In January, at Chatham House in London, I spoke about the fact that economic opportunity is now driving climate action. 

Wind and solar are now cheaper than coal and gas in the majority of the world. 

Investing in fossil fuels will only risk stranded assets. 

And the potential of renewables is extraordinary. 

On a recent visit to Brazil I was told that the country could, with investment, generate up to 700 gigawatts of power from offshore wind every year.

And in Mexico, I heard that the state of Oaxaca has more offshore wind potential than the entire North Sea. 

Increasingly, unleashing such potential is a matter of security, as well as economics.

Putin’s illegal and brutal invasion will define this year, and indeed many years to come. 

The brave people of Ukraine, who continue to suffer at his hands, remain in all our thoughts.

And, of course, the actions of the Putin regime have pushed-up fossil fuel prices globally. 

That has thrown our situation into stark relief. 

We see clearly the dangers of energy systems powered by foreign fossil fuels.

We see the benefits of low cost, homegrown renewables, the price of which cannot be manipulated from afar. 

In short, we see that climate security is energy security, 

that we must break our dependency on fossil fuels.

And governments are responding. 

Yes, they are taking action to deal with immediate supply issues. 

Yet they are also accelerating the move to clean power. 

The European Commission has announced that the European Union will increase renewables deployment to help reduce dependency on Russian hydrocarbons.

And here in the United Kingdom, we have recently published our Energy Security Strategy, to accelerate our deployment of wind, of solar, of nuclear, and of hydrogen. 

This could see 95 percent of our electricity come from low carbon sources by 2030. 

And we aim to fully decarbonise our power system by 2035. 

The forces driving us towards a clean future are building. 

Increasingly, it is clear that net zero means security. 

Net zero means prosperity. 

And net zero means preventing the problems of the present growing inexorably. 

Because many of the challenges we face today would intensify as global temperatures rise. 

Look at food security. 

One of the most moving conversations that I have had as COP President was with women in Madagascar on the brink of famine, 

women who were enduring the unimaginable. 

And it is a terrible truth that their experience is shared by many millions around the world. 

Acute hunger is at unprecedented levels. 

A recent report by the “Global Network Against Food Crises” found that hundreds of millions of people experienced food insecurity last year, 

with acute food insecurity rising almost 25 percent since 2020, which was already a record year. 

That is many millions of people whose lives, or livelihoods, are in peril because they cannot eat. 

 Millions of individual tragedies. 

And of course, those figures predate the Ukraine crisis, which has rocked global supply chains and driven-up prices. 

Now, the World Food Programme expects acute hunger to rise further, by tens of millions of people if the conflict in Ukraine continues unabated.

We know that climate change inflames food insecurity.

It is inflaming food insecurity right now. 

And every fraction of a degree makes a difference. 

A rise in average global temperature to 2 degrees, compared to 1.5, would mean a doubling of the reduction in yields of maize, a staple crop, in the tropics, 

and fisheries losing twice as much of their catch. 

And whilst the UN projects the world’s population will increase by around 20 percent by 2050 from current levels, 

Chatham House estimates that crop yields could decline by 30 percent by then unless we drastically reduce emissions, 

including from agriculture.

So we must accelerate the transition to fairer, more sustainable, more resilient food systems and supply chains.

The problems we face today underscore why it is vital that we do so, 

and why we must honour the commitments made at COP26. 

Failure to do so would be an act of monstrous self-harm. 

And over the past six months, we have had grim reminders of the urgency of our task. 

The United Nations body on climate science, the IPCC, has released two major reports,

each agreed by almost 200 countries and synthesising thousands of research papers. 

These reports conclude unequivocally that the window of time we have left to act is closing fast, 

And that we must urgently adapt and reduce emissions, 

and that climate change is already, wreaking havoc:

ecosystems are being irreversibly destroyed, 

people are being forced from their homes, 

and water insecurity has increased. 

But it is not only the science that tells us our situation is critical. 

We see the evidence all around us. 

In the short film we watched just before I spoke, we saw the effects of Hurricane Irma that I witnessed on the island of Barbuda. 

We saw the visit I made to the sea wall in Jakarta, which is literally being added to every few years to keep protecting the City. 

On that same visit to Indonesia, I saw homes being relocated to save people from those same rising seas.

In Bolivia, Indigneous leaders told me how, longer and harder rains are causing flooding in their lands. 

And this year, India and Pakistan have already experienced unbearable temperatures: a billion people exposed to extreme heat in some of the hottest months since records began. 

And hundreds are reported dead in South Africa, where floods have swept the province of KwaZulu-Natal, destroying buildings and claiming lives. 

This is the reality of climate change. 

And it is a reality that will get far worse as temperatures rise. 

Climate change is a chronic danger. 

A danger that will be with us for generations to come. 

And so we must continue to confront it, as we also deal with the pressures of the present.

That is why it is imperative we deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact. 

As I say, this is a historic agreement.

It calls on countries to phase-down unabated coal power and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

It requests countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets, as necessary, 

to align with the Paris temperature goal by the end of this year.

It urges developed countries to scale-up climate finance, and specifically to double finance for adaptation by 2025.

It underlines the central importance of adaptation, the dangers of loss and damage, and the need to scale-up action and support for both, 

and the Pact charts a way forward to do so. 

Outside the COP26 negotiating rooms we heard significant commitments from countries, companies and financial institutions too. 

They pledged to clean-up vital sectors like power and transport, to end deforestation, and to work together to accelerate the clean transition. 

Altogether, if the commitments made around COP26 are honoured on time, we can limit the rise in global temperature to below two degrees.

That was the conclusion of the International Energy Agency at the time. 

And this analysis has been backed-up by a recent study in the respected scientific journal, Nature. 

Since delegates left the SEC for a final time last November, work to deliver on the commitments made here in Glasgow has purposefully continued. 

We have had some countries submit new emissions reduction targets, or NDCs. 

And of course the UK is considering its own response to the Glasgow Pact. 

That includes reviewing the evidence to ensure our NDC remains aligned with the Paris Agreement, and looking at ways to strengthen it, 

all as we focus on delivering and building on our Net Zero Strategy.  

We have had new adaptation communications,

work has kicked-off to get the Santiago Network up and running, to provide technical assistance on loss and damage.

And the Glasgow Dialogue and the Glasgow to Sharm el Sheikh Work Programme will get going in June. 

On finance, the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance has launched five trial projects in Bangladesh and Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda, and Uganda. 

And the IMF has launched the Resilience and Sustainability Trust, to support developed countries to channel their Special Drawing Rights to climate action in developing nations. 

I have supported and championed this initiative, and I want to thank Kristalina Georgieva, for all her, and her team’s dedication, in delivering the RST, 

and for responding to the calls in the Glasgow Climate Pact, championed by Small Island Developing Countries, to do so.

We have made some progress on critical sectors. 

And action from business continues. 

Around 2,000 international firms have joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign since COP26, which commits them to reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.

That takes the total to over 7,000.

And civil society has kept-up the pressure on business and governments to deliver. 

Last week the COP27 President Designate, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Shoukry and I, co-chaired a meeting of ministers and representatives from over 40 governments around the world.

This May Ministerial was hosted in Copenhagen by Minister Jørgensen and the Danish Government.

This focussed not on what countries need to do, but how they will do it. 

How individually and collectively they will honour the commitments made here in Glasgow on emissions reductions, on adaptation, on loss and damage, and on climate finance.  

And what we heard was encouraging.  

We did make progress in these key areas. 

There was a high degree of consensus on what we must do to deliver in each of these areas. 

We heard positive signals about countries looking again at their 2030 NDCs, including considering how they can strengthen their sectoral targets.

The German and Canadian governments have agreed to coordinate a Progress Update on the $100billion Delivery Plan, which was published last year. 

This Update will be based on the ten collective actions agreed last year, and it will cover the commitment to double adaptation finance, as well as access to finance. 

We also announced a new, Independent High-Level Expert Group on investment in climate action, to be co-chaired by Lord Nick Stern and Vera Songwe.

The Group will develop policy options to encourage and enable the investment and finance necessary for delivery of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The May Ministerial was productive in helping to build momentum towards delivering the Glasgow Pact. 

Now this progress is of course welcome. 

But frankly we need to up the pace. 

Leaders have not done enough to deliver on their Glasgow commitments. 

And that must change. 

This November, when countries meet in Sharm-el-Sheikh for COP27, the spotlight will be back on climate. 

And the world will look to see whether they were right to put their doubts aside, and to cautiously place their confidence in the multilateral system.

Whether they were right to take leaders at their word. 

We must show them that they were. 

And that means moving much faster over the next six months than we have over the last six. 

And setting ourselves up to deliver, over this vital decade. 

In the final moments of COP, I described the Glasgow Climate Pact as a fragile win. 

And unless we accelerate delivery, citizens will look-on at Sharm-el-Sheikh and see that cracks have emerged. 

That leaders have allowed that historic and hard won agreement to fracture. 

We cannot allow that to happen. 

So the UK COP26 Presidency is working hard, with our Egyptian partners, to drive delivery.

Every country must respond to the call to revisit and strengthen their NDC. 

And they must do so in 2022.

The Glasgow Pact calls on countries to look again at their NDCs, not at some vague point in the future, but this year, in 2022. 

And the major emitters must lead from the front, particularly those G20 countries with little or no increase in ambition since Paris. 

We need them to submit more ambitious NDCs, where they are not currently aligned with the Paris Agreement. 

We need all countries to submit long-term strategies aligned with net zero.

And this needs to be done before the UNFCCC’s Synthesis Report deadline of 23rd September. 

We also need plans to turn these targets into action. 

And we need developed countries to be delivering on finance to support developing nations’ ambition,

and to help them access the benefits of climate-resilient investments: from growth, to jobs, to clean air and competitive advantage. 

The agreed $100billion Delivery Plan update needs to show progress on delivery, particularly the goal to double adaptation finance by 2025.

Thus far, too little has been achieved on doubling adaptation finance, and that must change. 

So we need countries to clearly set out their plans. 

We also need more progress from countries and financial institutions in aligning with the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance principles. 

And we need to drive Just Energy Transition Partnerships forward. 

In technical terms these are financial mechanisms that tailor support to individual countries’ energy transitions, in alignment with national plans. 

In human terms, they are about the many thousands of people who still rely on fossil fuels for their livelihoods, 

about supporting them to retrain and reskill, 

and about helping countries transition away from fossil fuels, 

whilst keeping the lights on and cleaning-up the air by moving to green technologies. 

We announced the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership at COP26.

And now, we are working towards others, and I am hopeful we will be able to announce them by COP27. 

On adaptation and loss and damage, we need to have made practical progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation by COP27, 

as well as having operationalised the Santiago Network.

And we also must also make further progress in critical sectors. 

We need more commitments to end coal power, to put a stop to international fossil fuel finance, and to accelerate the shift to renewables. 

We need a greater share of the global market covered by commitments to end the sale of polluting vehicles. 

We need countries to agree on the steps that they will take to accelerate clean technologies, including in sectors like steel and hydrogen, through the Breakthrough Agenda.

And we need leaders to show they are delivering on their commitments to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

On every one of these issues we will use the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the United Nations General Assembly to urge action. 

And we will host a second climate and development Ministerial in September to drive progress on the issues that matter most to climate vulnerable countries, 

because championing their needs remains critical for me. 

If you think this sounds like a hefty programme of work, you are right. 

But it is vital to achieving the change we have agreed is necessary. 

The United Kingdom remains an unapologetically high-ambition COP presidency. 

But ultimately, it is up to all world leaders to step up and deliver.

Just as they promised here in Glasgow six months ago. 

I learnt a lot in those two weeks here at the SEC. 

I learnt I could survive on three hours sleep,

I learnt to love Tunnocks teacakes. 

But principally I learnt that though this international system, the COP process, is imperfect and it is unwieldy, it can work, 

it can deliver, 

and it is the best chance we have of tackling climate change. 

But it is only as strong as the sum of its parts. 

So we need every nation to pick up the pace. 

We need every leader to show that their words were not hollow, 

that their commitments were made with integrity, 

and that they recognise, though the immediate challenges we face are grave, we will only inflame them if we falter. 

Because it is leaders who made promises,

and it is leaders who must honour them. 

So when countries meet in Egypt in six months time,

they must show a global audience that the confidence we inspired in the international system was not misplaced,

that though the world has changed, our resolve has not, 

and that the historic agreement forged in this “Dear Green Place” is taking the world towards a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future.

Ladies and gentlemen, earlier this morning we heard Emi Mahmoud ask whether: 

“If you could stop the next tornado from hitting your home, 

the next hurricane from wiping out your city, 

the next drought from starving your people,

wouldn’t you?”

Here in the SEC last November, the world said it would. 

Now, leaders must show that they will.

Thank you. 


Ends.

22.02.2022

COP President’s letter of appointment to the co-chairs of the ad hoc work programme on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance

5 minute read

To: Ms. Federica Fricano, Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh

Pursuant to the CMA.3 decision relating to the new collective quantified goal on climate finance and consultations held by my team since COP26, I am writing to appoint you to serve as the first co-chairs for the ad hoc work programme on the new goal throughout the UK’s Presidency year.

The decision made in Glasgow concerning the new goal outlines at a high-level how Parties will conduct their deliberations over the next three years in order to set the goal in 2024. The period between now and then provides a historic opportunity for the global community to agree a goal which is fit for purpose for mobilising the finance needed to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact and in so doing accelerate global climate action. 

The work you will facilitate as co-chairs  over the coming year will play a formative role in this crucial process. Its results will provide the technical basis for the political deliberations that will set the direction for future discussions and, ultimately, agree the goal itself under the CMA.  

In addition to our extensive engagement with Parties on the issue of deliberations on the new goal over the past two years, the COP26 Presidency has also engaged widely with development finance institutions, civil society, including youth, gender, and indigenous peoples constituencies, and the private sector. These stakeholders have a huge amount of knowledge and experience, which should continue to usefully enrich deliberations going forward. I encourage you to ensure that Parties are able to benefit from these insights throughout your work.

Drawing from that engagement, and as you work with the UNFCCC secretariat to organise the work programme, I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise several important elements for you to bear in mind: 

  • Inclusive participation: before and at COP26, we heard a clear and consistent message from Parties and non-Party stakeholders that deliberations should be conducted in an open and inclusive manner. It will be your role as co-chairs to ensure that space is provided in deliberations under the work programme for a wide-range of voices and perspectives to be heard.
  • Broad-based inputs: in line with the decision taken at CMA.3, you should organise your work in a way that actively seeks inputs from a wide range of sources and stakeholders from inside and outside the UNFCCC process, including current or future relevant initiatives. 
  • Substantive topics: it was also clear in Glasgow that Parties expect the deliberations to be rooted in the parameters set out in the previous mandates concerning the new goal, in particular the decisions pertaining to the goal made in Paris and Katowice, as well as the one made in Glasgow. 

For completeness, I have annexed to this letter a document with further details on each of these key points.

I recently set out the UK Presidency’s priorities going forward across a number of areas. As the COP President, I am clear that the successful implementation of this work programme is key to delivering what was agreed at COP26. Its outcomes will be integral for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. I therefore ask that, in taking on this role, you provide regular updates on your work and the work programme’s progress to the Presidency team throughout the year. My team look forward to working closely with you and colleagues in the UNFCCC secretariat to support the delivery of your work. As we approach COP27, I also request that you work closely with the incoming Egyptian COP Presidency team to help ensure successful discussions in Sharm El Sheikh. 

COP26 demonstrated that the world can work together to improve our common future, to address major global challenges and to seize opportunities. I believe that you as co-chairs are well placed to ensure that this work programme can build on that legacy, creating the space for collective self-interest to turbocharge a truly global transition. 

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

COP President

Annex – Key points for the organisation of the ad hoc work programme on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance

Inclusive participation

Before and at COP26, we heard a clear and consistent message from Parties and non-Party stakeholders that deliberations should be conducted in an open and inclusive manner. It will be your role as co-chairs to ensure that space is provided in deliberations under the work programme for a wide-range of voices and perspectives to be heard. As such, I ask you to work with the UNFCCC Secretariat to ensure that the four technical expert dialogues to be organised this year are as representative and inclusive as possible, making full use of in-person and virtual facilities as appropriate. Furthermore, I would encourage you to consider undertaking your own additional outreach to Parties and negotiating groups in order to better understand their perspectives.

Broad-based inputs

In previous discussions about the new goal, we have also heard about the wealth of expertise, literature, and evidence that exists with regards to financing climate action. You should organise your work in a way that allows you to build on this knowledge and any current or future relevant initiatives, actively seeking inputs from a wide range of sources and stakeholders from inside and outside the UNFCCC process, in line with the decision taken at CMA.3. The COP26 Presidency is encouraging as wide a range of relevant organisations as possible to respond to the calls for submissions made in the Glasgow decision. You as co-chairs should do the same. The Glasgow decision also notes the importance of regular consultations with the constituted bodies. I believe it will also be important for you to engage regularly with the other UNFCCC processes and work programmes active during this year (particularly the Standing Committee on Finance and the co-chairs of the Global Stocktake’s technical assessment), to ensure complementarity and join up discussions about finance.

Substantive topics 

It was also clear in Glasgow that Parties expect the deliberations to be rooted in the parameters set out in the previous mandates concerning the new goal, in particular the decisions pertaining to the goal made in Paris and Katowice (Decision 1/CP.21, paragraph 53 and Decision 14/CMA.1). As we summarised in our informal notes issued with the COP25 Presidency ahead of COP26, these include, inter alia, that: 

  • the new goal should be from a floor of USD 100 billion per year in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation; 
  • the new goal must take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries; 
  • the deliberations on the new goal must consider the aim to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development; 
  • as part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilising climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including support for country-driven strategies; and 
  • the future mobilisation of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts. 

Additionally, through the decision taken in Glasgow, Parties were clear that consideration of the new goal should include quantity, quality, scope and access features, as well as sources of funding, of the goal. There should also be consideration of  transparency arrangements to track progress towards achievement of the goal. This is of course without prejudice to other elements that will also be considered as the deliberations evolve in the coming years. 

SEC Armadillo Building

13.11.2021

COP President Concluding Media Statement

5 minute read

Alok Sharma addresses media as COP26 concludes.

I am very pleased to say that we now have in place the Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed amongst all the Parties here.

I am really pleased that this has been delivered. It is down to the hard work of the UK team; the hard work of all the Parties; the great cooperation that we have seen from all negotiators, and from all ministers; and right at the start of the summit, world leaders came out and set out what they wanted delivered out of this event.

I would say, however, that this is a fragile win. We have kept 1.5 alive. That was our overarching objective when we set off on this journey two years ago, taking on the role of the COP presidency-designate.

But I would still say that the pulse of 1.5 is weak. 

That is why, whilst we have reached, I do believe, a historic agreement. What this will be judged on, is not just the fact that countries have signed up, but on whether they meet and deliver on the commitments.

During our Presidency year, which started at the start of this summit, we will ensure that we work really closely to ensure that the commitments that have been set out are being delivered by countries.

And we will work in partnership with all of them.

Collectively we have got this over the line.

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped with this.

But as I say, the hard work starts now.

Thank you.


Ends.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

03.11.2021

Country Platforms Action Plan, from Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and the Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP26

Summary

The scale of investments to achieve net zero consistent with 1.5 degrees is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next three decades. The need is greatest in emerging and developing countries, which will require two-thirds of total investment,1 including total annual transition financing needs rising to $1 trillion by the latter half of this decade. At the same time, over $130 trillion of private sector capital through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is now committed to align its activities with net zero, and is increasingly targeting Paris-aligned lending and investments.

The challenge is to match this enormous finance with viable projects in emerging markets and developing countries (EM&DCs). There are a number of longstanding issues, including unfavourable domestic policy environments, blended financing instruments that are either too small scale or which mobilise only limited private capital, and a lack of investable projects connected to robust long-term decarbonisation strategies.

Bridging the financing gap in EM&DCs requires a radical change to the international financial architecture. Specifically, it requires building new country platforms which deploy blended finance at scale, leveraging private finance at significant multiples and connecting stand alone private finance with NDCs. These ‘Country Platforms’ would provide a single focal point to channel technical assistance and public and private finance to support the delivery of Paris-aligned NDCs in EM&DCs.2 They would coordinate and scale all elements including, critically, standalone private finance to major EMs for all aspects of transition finance including the wind-down of stranded assets. Country platforms could help mobiliser $1 trillion per annum of new private capital flows by middle of the decade.

Background: Barriers to Financing Climate

Investing in EM&DCs can provide high returns relative to more developed markets, but the overall risk/return profile often does not meet investor expectations. Mobilising private investments into climate adaption and resilience sectors (such as agriculture, forests, resilient infrastructure) also faces additional challenges, given the nascent nature of many of these industries and, more broadly, the lack of reliable revenue streams.

To scale up investment, investors need:

(i) Strong institutions, governance and reliable macroeconomic management.

(ii) Policy stability, commitment to low-carbon solutions and contract enforceability: Low-carbon projects are particularly vulnerable to policy risk, such as the ability to predict and rely on stable tariffs, due to declining input costs and a reliance on government subsidies.

(iii) Increased market access, a viable commercial partner and ability to scale. Technical skills to engage with investors and execute commercial agreements are important.

(iv) Depth in local financial markets. Local bank markets that can provide financial services, such as currency, interest rate swaps, access to listed markets, and even support for a robust green bond markets are important for international investors.

(v) Currency stability. Mismatches between the currency denomination of a project’s costs and the denomination of its revenues presents extra costs and risks where instruments needed to hedge those risks are lacking.

(vi) Accurate performance data and benchmarks: a lack of data is hindering accurate risk-pricing and leading to risk misperception.

A number of these barriers can be overcome with the right toolkit of public support. But, to date, attempts to mobilise private climate finance into developing countries has been piecemeal, and have not achieved the scale required to effectively respond to the challenge of financing developing countries’ climate plans. This needs to be matched by a coordinated response from the private sector. 

Proposal: An enhanced model of country platforms

This new model of country platforms builds on recent efforts. First, the World Bank has advocated country-led and country-owned platform models since 2017, reaffirming this commitment in the Joint MDB Statement issued at COP26, and the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed a Reference Framework for Effective Country Platforms in early 20203. Second, the private-sector led CFLI is focused on piloting this type of coordinated, country platform activity by convening leading private sector financial institutions and corporates, alongside governments and development finance, to catalyse new private financing activity and long-term enabling environment strengthening select markets and priority sectors4. These approaches can be combined and linked to NDC commitments in country platforms that supercharge climate finance flows. With over $130 trillion of private finance focused on achieving net zero, country platforms must integrate Paris-aligned NDCs to attract capital at scale. Projects that are consistent with long term country strategies that are certified as Paris aligned are more likely to attract private capital and less likely to be subject to project risks, including changes in regulation.

Specific country platforms will need to be owned and developed from the outset by beneficiary governments (supported by bilateral donors, MDBs, DFIs and private sector coalitions) to deliver appropriate tailored solutions dependent on the specific beneficiary country needs.

Country platforms could deliver $1 trillion per annum of new private capital flows to EMDs by middle of the decade. These will:

  • Combine ambitious NDCs and tailored projects to help achieve them. For example, financing projects across the value chain that support projects such as coal phase out, steel decarbonisation, renewable power, and reforestation. With private finance focused on achieving net zero, country platforms must integrate Paris-aligned NDCs to attract capital at scale. Projects that are consistent with long term country strategies that are certified as Paris aligned are more likely to attract private capital and less likely to be subject to project risks, including changes in regulation.
  • Address both upstream and downstream barriers to investment: Developing a pipeline of projects may require barriers across the investment chain to be overcome, including upstream5 – such as the regulatory environment or other underlying factors that discourage investment – and downstream,6 including connecting projects to investors through appropriate financing structures.
  • Access capital at scale from the private sector: Leverage GFANZ members to make clear commitments from private capital to finance net zero aligned projects in emerging and developing economies. Coordinate efforts across initiatives such as Mike Bloomberg’s Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), HRH’s Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) and President Macron’s One Planet Lab to ensure a single focal point for action.
  • Coordinate financing and certify Paris-alignment: Provide a forum to coordinate public/private finance, including bringing in the expertise of key institutions, particularly MDBs, to develop bespoke blended finance structures and certify Paris alignment of projects. This includes country-led governance (and external support, as appropriate) to oversee, steer, and coordinate donor/private sector activity in line with development and decarbonisation strategies,
  • Utilise innovative financing structures: Providing access to structures such as voluntary carbon markets, which have the potential to scale to $150 bn per year of new investments, with vast majority flowing to emerging and developing economies. Connecting these to platforms where projects are demonstrably aligned to, both Paris and local development priorities will help ensure high integrity.

In practice, governance models will need to be tailored to country specificities, and draw on relevant existing initiatives and institutions that are active in this space (see Annex 1 for a list of some of these key initiatives that could be included). Specific lead institution(s), for example MDBs, could be designated to support beneficiary governments with coordination of platforms.

Scale blended finance through MDBs

As a key component of work on country platforms, MDBs should identify and scale up solutions to mobilise private capital.

MDBs are uniquely placed to de-risk projects and mobilise private finance, but thus far the results have been modest with only $8bn directly mobilised in 2019, just 11% of total climate finance contributed and directly mobilised from advanced to developing economies. Actual investments will, of course, depend on the specific projects and the overall investment environment within the recipient countries, including the credibility of NDCs, but these conditions are more likely to develop if the sufficient financing capacity is in place.

MDBs should identify and be prepared to dramatically scale up blended finance vehicles, instruments and facilities that overcome these issues and support significant mobilisation of private capital. Potential candidates include the IFC’s Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and the AFD’s Room2Run Synthetic Securitisation Program, as well as platforms like the Global Infrastructure Facility.

Consideration should be given to the development of new first loss structures that reduce macro risks.

MDBs should focus on:

  • Leveraging private finance: Access to concessional resources will help mobilise private finance through blended structures. Concerns about the effectiveness of the existing architecture – including overuse of blend for pre-investment activities versus underwriting higher-risk but potentially higher-impact post-investment losses – are hampering action. MDBs should review: whether fewer but larger and more coordinated blending pools would be more effective; how to improve adherence to the blended finance principles; and how MDBs can more effectively access and coordinate with organisations designed to pool and leverage private capital (i.e. GCF Private Sector Window, EFSD+ and the CIFs.)
  • Scaling sector “platforms” and investment funds: groups (such as infrastructure finance and development organisations) focused on specific sectors have the capital and expertise required to take on early stage risk. MDBs should partner with these firms to develop commercially focused low-carbon “sector” solutions, or “platforms”. Development finance has previously been used in backing and creating such sector platforms (e.g. CDC’s investments in Globaleq, GridWorks and Ayana). MDBs could also target mobilisation of large pools of currently underutilised capital such as domestic pension and insurance funds into these vehicles – building their exposure to this new asset classes.
  • Wholesaling bankable projects: by preparing, originating and structuring them before selling them onto institutional investors, thereby preserving balance sheet capacity of MDBs.
  • Issuing green MDB bonds and supporting green bond issuances in developing markets. MDBs should use their expertise to provide technical assistance to developing countries issue green bonds. This could include support on pipeline development, transparent governance and outcome tracking. MDBs could consider the development of an investment vehicle that pools investments across a number of Green Bonds, making it more feasible for private sector investors to participate, as well as de-risking exposure to single country risks. In the longer term, any agreements by shareholders to provide additional capital to the MDBs could also support increased mobilisation.
(ii) Objectives and suggested actions

There is now a unique need and opportunity to reorganise public and private sector cooperation to support green recovery and climate action in EM&DCs. The actions proposed here should be further refined and delivered through willing bilateral and multilateral donors and private sector coalitions:

At COP26

  1. Secure high-level support from key partners to develop this concept further post-COP, including setting up an action-oriented working group to deliver platforms in 2022, and reinvigorating work on country platforms at the G20 level, building on existing work under the Saudi Presidency (G20 Reference Framework for Effective Country Platforms).

2022

  1. Key partners develop and begin implementing country platforms in pilot countries, with secretariat led by an institution appropriate for that country to be discussed across the IFIs in partnership with the country concerned.
  2. G20  defines effective country platforms using the most effective high multiplier blended finance vehicles and an updated G20 Reference Framework to showcase best practice for working with the private sector.
  3. Initiate pilots in key emerging markets to prove the concept and begin the large scale flow of finance.

Annex 1: Examples of existing initiatives covering key elements of country platforms

While no one platform or initiative covers all of the proposed scope, some elements of country platforms already exist in a form that could be learned from and built upon. For example:

Technical assistance in project preparation:

Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA): The CFA supports emerging markets to turn their NDCs into a pipeline of bankable projects, through capacity building for project developers. This supports them to understand how to structure their programmes to attract private and public sources of finance, and helps match them with investors. The CFA currently operates in South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia.

Global Infrastructure Facility: The Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), a G20 initiative, is a global collaboration platform that brings together donors, development finance institutions, country governments, with input from private sector investors and financiers, to build bankable pipelines of infrastructure projects that attract private financing. It works with multiple MDBs to explicitly focus on private capital mobilization, focused on providing technical assistance and project prep for large infrastructure projects.

Private sector coordination with local governments to address barriers to private capital mobilisation:

Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) Country partnerships: Partnering with country governments and multilateral DFIs, CFLI country partnerships bring together local and international financial institutions to identify and address sector-specific barriers to private finance mobilisation. This includes targeting regulatory reforms to enable private capital mobilisation over the longer-term. The first CFLI Partnership (India) was launched in September 2021.

Multilateral donor coordination to support climate finance:

Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance: Co-chaired by the UK and Fiji, the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance aims to address barriers to access, constraints on delivery and insufficient coherence in donors’ offers by developing a new approach to climate financing, which will align support behind the national climate action plans of developing country partners and match those commitments with a coordinated offer from bilateral and multilateral partners.

NDC design and implementation

NDC partnership: The NDC Partnership works directly with national governments, international institutions, civil society, researchers, and the private sector to help developing countries deliver NDC goals by turning them into action plans, integrating them into all parts of government and co-ordinating donors to provide support The NDC Partnership is co-chaired by Jamaica and the UK, and has more than 180 members, including developed and developing countries, MDBs and UN bodies.

Packaging sustainable infrastructure projects for private sector investors

Fast Infra: The goal of Fast Infra (‘Finance to Accelerate the Sustainable Transition – Infrastructure’) is to significantly scale up private sector investment in developing world sustainable infrastructure, including through sustainable infrastructure labelling and targeted financial interventions. Participants include banks, asset managers, multi-lateral development banks, national development banks and NGOs.

1 Based on research to be published by Race to Zero and GFANZ with analysis by Vivid Economics

2 Meaning: consistent with articles 2.1a-c of the Paris Agreement, including pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impact of climate change and foster climate resilience.

3 Defined as “voluntary country-level mechanisms, set out by governments and designed to foster collaboration among development partners, based on a shared strategic vision and priorities.”

4 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-by-government-of-india-uk-government-and-the-cfli-on-mobilising-climate-finance-in-india

5 The IFC define ‘upstream’ activities as those that ‘occur before the traditional investment cycle and are necessary precursors to an investment,’ and interventions are targeted ‘at creating the conditions for a private sector investment that otherwise would not have occurred if left to market forces alone.’  https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/topics_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/upstream/faqs

6 As defined by the IFC, the downstream stage covers (iv) project structuring, (v) transaction support, and (vi) post-implementation support. https://ieg.worldbankgroup.org/sites/default/files/Data/Evaluation/files/IFCClientEngagement.pdf

7 See, for example, principles outlined on pg. 8 of the DFI Working Group on Blended Concessional Finance for Private Sector Projects https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/73a2918d-5c46-42ef-af31-5199adea17c0/DFI+Blended+Concessional+Finance+Working+Group+Joint+Report+%28October+2019%29+v1.3+Report+.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=mUEEcSN

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03.11.2021

Network for Greening the Financial System’s Glasgow Declaration

From 8 founding members in 2017, we have quickly expanded to now include 100 central banks and supervisors and 16 observers, who together form the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). We are a global and inclusive network, consisting of members from developed, emerging and developing economies. 

On the occasion of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), we reiterate our willingness to contribute to the global response required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and, to that end, we will expand and strengthen our collective efforts towards greening the financial system. 

Following its Call for Action report published in April 2019, the NGFS has developed a broad set of analyses and practical tools to share knowledge and best practices, notably in the fields of prudential supervision, climate scenario analysis, responsible investment, the inclusion of climate-related considerations into monetary policy frameworks, data gaps, and building awareness and intellectual capacity. 

Looking ahead, and in light of the urgency and seriousness of climate change and environmental issues, we will expand and strengthen our collective efforts to improve the resilience of the financial system to climate-related and environmental risks, and encourage the scaling up of the financing flows needed to support the transition towards a sustainable economy. 

In the coming years, the NGFS will then: 

  • further enhance and enrich its climate scenarios, thus providing on a regular basis an important public good for a broad range of stakeholders, both public and private; 
  • deepen its analysis on integrating climate change considerations into monetary policy strategies and frameworks, in the context of the mandates of its members; 
  • intensify the work to bridge the data gaps that currently hinder the identification, management and mitigation of climate-related risks; 
  • supplement the set of NGFS practical guides with guidelines on TCFD-aligned reporting for central banks; 
  • facilitate uplift in supervisory capabilities and the global consistency of supervisory practices; 
  • step up its efforts on capacity building, with a particular focus on members from emerging and developing economies, to support members’ progress in addressing climate-related and environmental risks and in implementing the NGFS recommendations; 
  • keep exploring emerging topics such as the impact of the loss of biodiversity or the risks associated with climate-related litigation, and work towards addressing them, in the context of the mandates of its members; 
  • continue to cooperate with standard-setters, other policy makers, the financial sector, academia and other relevant stakeholders to keep on distilling best practices, identifying challenges and solutions and avoiding duplication of work.

The collective achievements of the NGFS help to foster action by its members. A large number of NGFS members are taking the opportunity of the COP26 to publish an individual pledge or strategy, while others have recently released documents detailing their domestic agenda, or plan to do so soon. Taken together, these clearly demonstrate that our community is determined to act as a leading force.

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03.11.2021

Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero’s COP26 statement

Capital committed to net zero now at over $130 trillion, up from $5 trillion when the UK and Italy assumed COP26 Presidency.

Today, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), over $130 trillion of private capital is committed to transforming the economy for net zero.1 These commitments, from over 450 firms across 45 countries, can deliver the estimated $100 trillion of finance needed for net zero over the next three decades.

To support the deployment of this capital, the global financial system is being transformed through 24 major initiatives for COP26 that have been delivered for the summit. This work has significantly strengthened the information, the tools and the markets needed for the financial system to support the transformation of the global economy for net zero.

New analysis, commissioned by the UN High Level Climate Action Champions, finds that the private sector could deliver 70% of total investments needed to meet net zero goals.2

In its progress report published today, GFANZ announces that financial sector commitments to net zero now exceed $130 trillion, a 25-fold increase under the UK and Italian Presidency.3

Now firms across the entire financial spectrum – banks, insurers, pension funds, asset managers, export credit  agencies, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, index providers and audit firms – have committed to high ambition, science-based targets, including achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, delivering their fair share of 50% emission reductions this decade, and reviewing their targets towards this every five years. All firms will report their progress and financed emissions annually.

The progress report also outlines the ambitious body of work underway – led by GFANZ CEOs – to address some of the biggest climate finance challenges, including defining net zero pathways for carbon-intensives sectors, aligning on what constitutes a robust transition plan for corporates and financial institutions, and a sector-wide plan to mobilise capital needed for decarbonisation in emerging markets. Collectively, this work will accelerate the implementation of net zero commitments and help to rapidly scale capital flows to support the net zero transition.

It comes as UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced today new requirements for firms to publish net zero transition plans setting out how they will decarbonise through 2050. This follows calls from GFANZ for G20 countries to implement policies to unlock and accelerate capital to support the transition, including mandatory net zero transition plans.4

Already, firms are turning ambition into action that will align their portfolios with 1.5°C. Over 90 of the founding institutions of GFANZ have already delivered on setting short-term targets, including 29 asset owners that have committed to reducing portfolio emissions by 25-30% by 2025, as well as 43 asset managers that have published targets for 2030 or sooner.5 And the first targets have also been published by Net Zero Banking Alliance members.

The 24 other major finance initiatives, led by Mark Carney as part of the private finance priorities for COP26, will help transform the financial architecture by mainstreaming and scaling: climate-related reporting; climate risk management; climate-related investment returns and the mobilisation of private finance to emerging and developing economies.6

Today, the IFRS Foundation, the international accounting standard body, announces the establishment of a new International Sustainability Standards Board to develop globally consistent climate and broader sustainability disclosure standards for the financial markets. This work has been welcomed by Finance Ministers from over 40 countries stretching across 6 continents and follows support from the G7 and others to make climate disclosures mandatory.

Through the work of the Network for Greening the Financial System climate risk management is also being transformed. Thirty-eight central banks, in countries comprising 67% of the world’s emissions, have committed to climate-related stress tests to review the resilience of the world’s largest financial firms in the face of several climate-related risks. And 33 central banks and supervisors, representing 70% of the world’s emissions, have committed to issuing guidance to firms on managing climate-related financial risks.

And to measure more accurately the alignment of lending, investment and underwriting with net zero, the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has published guidance on metrics, targets and transition plans.

Finally, for COP26, GFANZ Co-Chair Mark Carney is publishing a new plan on how to scale private capital flows to emerging and developing economies. This includes the development of country platforms to connect the now enormous private capital committed to net zero with country projects, scaling blended finance through MDBs and developing high integrity, credible global carbon markets.7

GFANZ is supporting these mobilisation efforts and has identified an initial set of five catalytic initiatives to accelerate the transition in these countries, based on their scalability and potential impact. In doing so, GFANZ has committed to bring together technical expertise and balance sheets to scale capital commitments ahead of COP27.8

GFANZ is taking a number of measures to accelerate the global transition to net zero beyond COP26 with new leadership, announcing that UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Race to Zero Ambassador Michael Bloomberg will join UN Special Envoy Mark Carney as co-chair of GFANZ. Mary Schapiro, Head of the Secretariat for the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and former Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will be the vice-chair. They join UN High Level Champion Nigel Topping in the GFANZ leadership team. A new permanent secretariat will have a presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. GFANZ also unveils it will periodically report on its work to the G20’s Financial Stability Board.

Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and COP26 Private Finance Advisor to PM Johnson said:

The architecture of the global financial system has been transformed to deliver net zero. We now have the essential plumbing in place to move climate change from the fringes to the forefront of finance so that every financial decision takes climate change into account. Only this mainstream focus can finance the estimated $100 trillion of investment needed over the next three decades for a clean energy future.

The rapid, and large-scale, increase in capital commitment to net zero, through GFANZ, makes the transition to a 1.5°C world possible. To seize this opportunity, companies must deliver robust transition plans and governments set predictable and credible policies. This will give finance the confidence to invest, pulling forward climate actions and smoothing the transition to net zero, driving growth and jobs upwards, and forcing emissions downwards. Let’s work together to seize this opportunity.

Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 said:

To keep 1.5°C within reach, we need the owners, managers, lenders, and underwriters of capital to realign their business models with the climate science. The core of the financial system is now publicly committed to that task. And it will have a ripple effect across the global economy. Now we need governments to help get the job done, by setting the ambitious policies that can unlock, accelerate and help direct the investment to where it’s needed most.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

I’m so proud that under the UK’s leadership, the number of financial firms committed to Net Zero plans has tripled, with the assets now covered totalling $130 trillion. Harnessing the trillions of dollars controlled by these companies in the fight against climate change is crucial. So I’ve announced new requirements for firms to publish their net zero transition plans. Together we can provide the cash the world needs to stop catastrophic climate change.

Michael R. Bloomberg, Co-Chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero said:

Winning the battle against climate change will require vast amounts of new investment and the majority will have to come from the private sector. Leaders in finance have strong incentives to act, and under Mark Carney and Nigel Topping’s leadership, GFANZ has grown to include some of the largest financial institutions in the world. We look forward to building on this progress in the next phase of the alliance’s work, by creating the tools and industry wide coordination we need to turn commitments into action and speed up the transition to a net-zero global economy.

Klaas Knot, Vice Chair of the Financial Stability Board, said:

An orderly transition of the financial sector to meeting net zero commitments supports financial stability. So, we look forward to regular updates to the FSB on the progress of GFANZ, as part of the FSB’s broader outreach in taking forward its roadmap to address financial risks from climate change.

1 The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of leading financial institutions in the UN’s Race to Zero that is committed to accelerating and mainstreaming the decarbonisation of the world economy and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. It provides a practitioner-led forum for financial firms to collaborate on substantive, crosscutting issues that will accelerate the alignment of financing activities with net zero and support efforts by all companies, organisations, and countries to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. To ensure credibility and consistency, access to GFANZ is grounded in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, and entry requirements are tailored to the activities of the diverse firms represented. Further details can be found on https://www.gfanzero.com. Note that each entity in GFANZ has made its own net zero commitment with potential overlap across initiatives, institutions and assets across GFANZ and its sub-sector alliances.

2 Analysis undertaken by Vivid Economics. More detail found here: https://www.gfanzero.com/netzerofinancing

3 The full report The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero: Our progress and plan towards a net-zero global economy can be found here: https://assets.bbhub.io/company/sites/63/2021/11/GFANZ-Progress-Report.pdf

4 The Call to Action can be found here: https://assets.bbhub.io/company/sites/63/2021/10/GFANZ-call-to-action.pdf.

5All members of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance or the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Manager Alliance. Source: https://www.unepfi.org/news/industries/investment/net-zero-asset-owner-alliance-members-to-cut-portfolio emissions-25-30-by-2025/ and https://www.netzeroassetmanagers.org/net-zero-asset-managers-initiative-signatories disclose-interim-targets-with-over-a-third-of-assets-managed-in-line-with-net-zero

6 Full details can be found in the Notes to Editors.

7 More details can be found here: https://www.gfanzero.com/

8 For list of the initial initiatives, see Notes to Editors.

Notes for editors:

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of leading financial institutions in the UN’s Race to Zero that is committed to accelerating and mainstreaming the decarbonisation of the world economy and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. It provides a practitioner-led forum for financial firms to collaborate on substantive, crosscutting issues that will accelerate the alignment of financing activities with net zero and support efforts by all companies, organisations, and countries to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. To ensure credibility and consistency, access to GFANZ is grounded in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, and entry requirements are tailored to the activities of the diverse firms represented. Further details can be found on gfanzero.com.

Race to Zero

Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time. All actors must meet stringent criteria which will bring them to the starting line to credibly race to zero emissions. The Race to Zero campaign has an independent, academic-led Expert Peer Review Group (EPRG) tasked with reviewing applications to join the Race to Zero and ensuring they meet the ambitious criteria for participation.

This means all GFANZ members must align with the Race to Zero criteria, which are (1) use science-based guidelines to reach net-zero emissions across all emissions scopes by 2050, (2) set 2030 interim targets that represent a fair share of the 50% decarbonisation required by the end of the decade, (3), set and publish a net-zero transition strategy, (4) commit to transparent reporting and accounting on progress against those targets, and (5) adhere to strict restrictions on use of offsets. Further details can be found on racetozero.unfccc.int/.

The Alliance members of GFANZ, summary of commitments

Membership of GFANZ is through one of the member Alliances.

 • The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM), launched in December 2020, is an international group of asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C and investing aligned with the same goal. In delivering net-zero alignment, the asset managers commit to prioritising real-economy emissions reductions, take account of material portfolio Scope 3 emissions, create investment products aligned with net zero emissions, and facilitate increased investment in climate solutions. In addition, to ensure investors are driving broader change, NZAM is putting in place a stewardship and engagement strategy consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050 and ensuring all policy advocacy supports the same objective. Signatories also commit to transparent and rigorous accountability. They will publish TCFD reporting annually, including a climate action plan, and submit reports through the PRI19 and/or CDP20 platforms.

• The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), launched in September 2019, is the first net zero finance sector initiative to have joined the Race to Zero. It shows united asset owner action to align portfolios with a 1.5 degrees C scenario, taking into account best available scientific knowledge, including the findings of the IPCC based on low or no overshoot scenarios. NZAOA places great emphasis on ambitious, intermediary, quantitative targets being set every five years, starting with a first generation of such targets being published now for attainment by 2025, based on the Alliance’s own and comprehensive 2025 Target- Setting Protocol, which underwent a public consultation and is revised on a yearly basis. NZAOA members aligned on an Alliance-wide Position on Thermal Coal, stating a phaseout of most thermal coal assets by 2030 for industrialised countries and a full phaseout globally by 2040.

• The Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), launched in April 2021, is the banking element of GFANZ and Race to Zero. Signatories are committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as with a temperature outcome of no more than 1.5 degrees C by 2100, based on low or no-overshoot scenarios and considering best available scientific knowledge. Combining near-term action with accountability, this ambitious commitment sees banks setting intermediate targets for 2030 or sooner, using robust, science-based guidelines.

• The Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), launched in July 2021, brings together the world’s leading insurers, reinsurers and insurance marketplaces to play their part in accelerating the transition to net-zero emission economies. Signatories are committed to individually transitioning their underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as well as with a temperature outcome of no more than 1.5 degrees C by 2100, taking into account the best available scientific knowledge, including the findings of the IPCC based on low or no-overshoot scenarios.

• The Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative (NZICI), launched in September 2021, brings together leading investment consultants, to support the goal of reaching global net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner. First among these actions is integrating advice on net- zero alignment into investment consulting services as soon as possible and within two years of making this commitment and supporting efforts to decarbonise the global economy by helping their clients to prioritise real-economy emissions reductions.

• The Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance (NZFSPA), launched in September 2021, brings together 22 leading organisations, including the world’s largest credit rating agencies, audit networks, leading index providers, global stock exchanges, data providers, and providers of advisory services, who will all be critical to unlocking a net zero financial system. As members of the NZFSPA, these organisations have committed to aligning all relevant services and products to net zero by 2050. Members will set science-based targets for their emissions, including interim targets for 2030, and report on their progress against those targets annually, including disclosures using existing frameworks such as those the TCFD recommendations.

• The Paris Aligned Investment Initiative (PAII), established in May 2019, is an investor led global forum enabling investors to align their portfolios and activities to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Through the Paris Aligned Asset Owners net-zero commitment, signatories commit to a comprehensive range of actions toward net zero including (1) transitioning investments to achieve net-zero portfolio GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner, with the aim of achieving emissions reductions in the real economy, (2) setting interim targets by 2030 or sooner for decarbonising portfolios and investing in climate solutions, consistent with the 50% reduction in global emissions set in the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees C, and (3) implementing a stewardship and voting strategy consistent with achieving net zero.

The 24 initiatives were set out in the COP26 Private Finance Strategy in November 2020. They cover a range of areas:

• Reporting: improving the quantity, quality and comparability of climate-related disclosures by implementing a common framework built on the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.

• Risk management: ensuring that the financial sector can measure and manage climate-related financial risks.

• Returns: helping investors identify the opportunities in the transition to net zero and report how their own portfolios are aligned for the transition.

• Mobilisation: increasing private financial flows to emerging and developing economies, by connecting available capital with investable projects and encouraging new market structures.

Further detail can be found here: https://ukcop26.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/11/COP26-Private-Finance-Hub-Strategy_Nov-2020v4.1.pdf

IFRS Foundation: The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation is a public interest organisations established in 2001 to develop a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted accounting IFRS Standards. IFRS Standards are currently required in more than 140 jurisdictions. Since the start of 2021 the IFRS Foundation Trustees have been working towards the creation of a new standard setting board within the IFRS Foundation to develop comprehensive global baseline sustainability reporting standards to meet the needs of the capital markets. For more information, see: https://www.ifrs.org/

Network for Greening the Financial System: The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) is a group of central banks and supervisors that exchange experiences, share best practices, contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and mobilize mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. Established at the Paris “One Planet Summit” in December 2017, membership has grown from eight founding members to 100 members and 15 observers, representing countries responsible for 85% of global emissions and spread across the five continents. Its purpose is to define and promote best practices to be implemented within and outside of the Membership of the NGFS and to conduct or commission analytical work on green finance. So far, it has published guidance and best practice covering a range of central bank and supervisor responses to climate risks, including supervision, scenario analysis exercises, sustainable investment practices, and monetary policy implementation. For more information, see: https://www.ngfs.net/en

Country platforms: A country platform is a mechanism that convenes and aligns stakeholders – including national and international governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society organisations (CSOs), donors and other development actors—around a specific issue or geography to agree and coordinate priorities. Country platforms were highlighted in the G20 Eminent Persons Report, which outlined some of the principals of country platforms.

List of five catalytic initiatives

• Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) Country Pilots; GFANZ will work to support CFLI’s Country Pilot in India and other countries as they emerge. CFLI India is an early example of a country platform initiative involving governments, major private-sector Indian and multinational corporations and financial institutions.

• FAST-Infra; establishing a consistent, globally applicable labelling system for sustainable infrastructure assets, so investors can have confidence in them and support projects that will generate long-term, stable returns. Developed as a public private partnership led by HSBC, Macquarie, and the Global Infrastructure Facility.

• The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet; delivering transformational programs to accelerate and scale an equitable energy transition in developing and emerging economies through fossil fuel transitioning, grid-based renewables, and distributed renewables. Backed by an initial $10 billion commitment from preeminent philanthropic, government, donor, multilateral development bank, development finance institution, and private sector partners, the alliance will reach 1 billion people with reliable, renewable energy, creating tens of millions of green jobs and avoiding 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

• Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco (IFACC); scaling innovative financial mechanisms—including farm loan products, farmland investment funds, corporate debt instruments and capital markets offerings— and helping farmers implement proven business models to decouple beef and soy production models from deforestation and conversion of natural habitats. Key partners include United Nations Environment Programme; the Nature Conservancy; the World Economic Forum and the Tropical Forest Alliance, an initiative hosted by the World Economic Forum.

• MOBILIST; designed to catalyse innovative, scalable and replicable investment products on major and local exchanges across the world, delivering on the Global Goals and supporting the net-zero transition for developing countries. For asset owners, MOBILIST offers a platform to develop the products that public market investors want, and to enable climate financing to respond to the scale of the opportunity and needs in that transition. MOBILIST is a Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office flagship programme backed by capital, technical expertise and HMG’s global network.

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03.11.2021

CHAIRS JOINT COP26 STATEMENT: COALITION OF FINANCE MINISTERS FOR CLIMATE ACTION AND NETWORK OF CENTRAL BANKS AND SUPERVISORS FOR GREENING THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

On the occasion of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), we, the Co-Chairs of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action (the Coalition) and the Chair of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), reaffirm our commitment to mobilising our organisations to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Our two entities recognised from the start that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires ambitious climate actions from all Parties; and, from the public sector, stepped-up climate engagements and broader alignment of economic policies. Against this background, finance ministries, central banks and financial supervisors need to take action within their respective fields of responsibility to implement appropriate economic policies and promote financial flows “consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development” as set out in the Paris Agreement.

To that end, we have fostered close dialogue and collaborative action, at both national and international levels, between finance ministries and the community of central banks and supervisors. Joint events and workshops have enabled members from both organizations to discuss, learn, and identify areas for collaboration. Over the past few years, we have pushed the idea of building back better—in the context of a robust post-Covid green recovery—by calling for the incorporation of climate considerations in recovery plans. We have also identified the importance of training and capacity building among our members and look forward to cooperating in these areas.

We recognise the potential to work together more closely on key priority areas, including the assessment and analysis of the economic and financial impacts of climate change (such as forward-looking scenario analyses and prudential stress tests), as well as the implications for the conduct of economic policy and the preservation of financial stability. We believe that a transition consistent with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5°C is within our collective reach, provided we take strong action without delay and implement well-designed policies that will together create the incentives needed to enable an orderly transition.

Given the urgency to achieve net-zero and climate-resilient economies, we will work within our respective fields of responsibility to help ensure the readiness and resiliency of the financial sector and drive change in the real sector. Action by central banks, supervisors, finance ministries, as well as line ministries can play a key role in mitigating climate-related financial risks. We recognise the importance of private capital mobilisation. Success hinges on our collective ability to address climate change in a comprehensive manner through ambitious mitigation efforts, investments in adaptation and resilience, and policy measures that ensure a just, inclusive, and equitable transition.

We acknowledge that beyond the potentially significant economic and financial implications directly associated with nature loss, global climate and nature goals are closely intertwined and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services could undermine climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts while exacerbating climate risks. Addressing these issues will be critical for a successful transition to net zero. Conserving and restoring forests and other critical ecosystems, as well as transitioning to more sustainable agricultural and land-use practices, can help substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sequestering of atmospheric carbon. Against this backdrop, we will strive to better reflect cross-cutting issues related to agriculture, forests, and other land uses in our work.

Finally, we recognise that our strength is rooted in our diverse and committed membership. We proudly chair global organisations comprised of low-, middle-, and high-income countries that all resolve to urgently scale-up efforts to ensure a smooth transition toward a net-zero, climate-resilient, and nature-positive economy. We will continue to work closely together to raise ambition and accelerate action.

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03.11.2021

UK welcomes work to develop global sustainability reporting standards alongside 40 international partners

UK government joins 40 international partners from 6 continents to welcome the establishment of the IFRS Foundation’s new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26.

Leaders committed to review progress annually, starting in 2022, supported by a report led by the IEA, working with IRENA and the UN High Level Action The IFRS Foundation has announced the establishment of an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to develop comprehensive global baseline sustainability reporting standards under robust governance and public oversight. The IFRS Foundation confirmed consolidation of two sustainability reporting organisations, the Value Reporting Foundation and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, to create a global standard-setter for sustainability disclosures for the capital markets.

The Foundation also published two prototype standards to enable the ISSB to rapidly build on existing frameworks, including the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), when developing its standards. Standards will be subject to full public consultation and can be considered for adoption by jurisdictions on a voluntary basis. Jurisdictions will have their own legal frameworks for adopting, applying or otherwise making use of international standards.

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 40 jurisdictions (see below) from 6 continents joined the UK in publicly welcoming the announcement of the establishment of the ISSB and its work programme to develop a set of internationally consistent, high-quality, and reliable baseline standards for disclosure of sustainability-related information on enterprise value creation.

List of Finance Ministers

Australia
Brazil (Central Bank Governor)
Canada
Chile
China
Costa Rica
Egypt
Ethiopia
European Commission
Fiji
France
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
India
Indonesia
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
South Korea
Luxembourg
Maldives
Mexico
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Paraguay
Philippines
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Tonga
Turkey
UK
Uruguay
USA

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23.10.2021

COP26 sources 80% of food from Scotland for its sustainable menus

5 minute read

  • Menus at COP will be affordable and with a strong focus on sustainability
  • Eighty percent of food to be served at conference will be seasonal and sourced from Scotland
  • Sustainable measures at the heart of approach

COP26 delegates will be served sustainable, locally-sourced food at the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow, the UK confirmed today.

Overall, 95 percent of the food will be from the UK, largely sourced from Scotland, and be seasonal. This will put sustainability at the heart of catering for the summit, reducing emissions and promoting environment-friendly food production.

COP26 will set an example for other large-scale international events, in terms of food sourcing, by taking a number of measures to ensure a sustainable approach:

  • Ingredients will be replicated across the conference’s menus to ensure produce can be repurposed for other meals, if necessary, to avoid food waste.
  • The cups used to serve drinks will be reusable and it is estimated that this approach will save up to 250,000 single use cups.
  • Suppliers are setting high standards for sustainable food production, from Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which is abundant and entirely sustainable and does not require fertilizer, fresh water or soil to grow, through to Benzies carrots and potatoes who use wind turbines to power their cool storage, biomas to provide heating and actively recycle the water they use.

In line with the international nature of COP26, we will be using Scottish produce to deliver an international inspired menu. There will even be a Scottish fusion to certain international dishes such as the ‘Scotch beef ramen’.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:

“There will be a tremendous amount of work to be done at COP26, with many hours of negotiations and long days, so the choice of food that we serve our visiting delegations, staff and all our volunteers, is very important.

“It is exciting to see such innovation in the menus that will be on offer and to understand the thought and effort that has gone into making dishes both healthy, sustainable and suitable for different diets and requirements.

“We very much look forward to giving our international visitors a flavour of the wide-ranging cuisine the UK has to offer.”

Kevin Watson, Business Director, SEC Food said:

“We have worked hard to create low carbon menus that are accessible to all. We hope our sustainable food strategy will shape menus of the future as we all work to protect our planet. As well as providing great tasting and nutritious food, our menus are focused on local and seasonal sourcing, with a plant-forward approach. We have been delighted to showcase and work with so many local Scottish suppliers and our teams are looking forward to supporting the event.”

Notes for editors:
  • The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.
  • The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system (SEMS).
  • Our approach is guided by 7 Sustainability Governing Principles; actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value, provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all, encourage healthy living, ensure a safe and secure atmosphere, encourage more sustainable behaviour, promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain, and leave a positive legacy.
  • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Sneak previews of the menus, as well as other useful facts and figures, can be downloaded here.
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20.10.2021

UK unveils Presidency Programme to drive global climate ambition at COP26

5 minute read

  • Almost 50 events organised by UK COP26 Presidency will showcase action and drive momentum from all of society during two-week summit
  • Programme reflects COP26 Presidency’s commitment to inclusivity by bringing together civil society, businesses, and young people
  • Government also publishes programme for UK Pavilion which will highlight UK climate leadership

The UK government has unveiled its programme of Presidency events for the two-week COP26 Summit, which is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November.

The programme kicks off with a World Leaders’ Summit (1-2 November), hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for which more than 120 leaders have already confirmed their attendance. They are encouraged to set out ambitious actions to reduce emissions – including net zero and on coal, cars, and trees, scale-up action to adapt to the impacts of climate change and mobilise finance, and to collectively signal their commitment to keeping alive the crucial Paris Agreement aim of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C, and as close as possible to 1.5C.

Running alongside the formal negotiations, the two-week programme of Presidency events will put a spotlight on how all parts of society and the global economy drives ambitious climate action.

Events fall across key themed days including finance, adapting to the impacts of climate change, energy transition, nature and land-use, gender, and youth. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will open the first of the themed days, with an event on how finance is being made available to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, and UK government ministers will attend events throughout the two weeks.

Other events include driving forward conversations on the shift from coal to clean power; responding to the recent IPCC report on Science and Innovation day; and a convening of education and climate change ministers with young people to discuss the importance of education in creating climate positive futures.

On Adaptation, Loss & Damage day, communities on the frontline will share their experiences of the worst effects of climate change. This will be followed by a ministerial discussion on efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

The science is clear that we need urgent, decisive action from around the world if we are to change the course of history for the better. Our Presidency themed days are aimed at ensuring COP26 is not a talking shop or a photo opportunity, but a moment for governments and all of society to move forward with practical solutions touching on all aspects of how we inhabit our precious planet.

I am determined to ensure Glasgow is as inclusive as possible, in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19. I hope through our diverse programme of events, as well as the efforts we have put into getting delegates to Glasgow, all participants will be able to benefit from the very best of climate leadership around the world.

Participants in the summit will also be able to take inspiration from more than 80 Pavilions which will see countries, civil society and international organisations hosting their own curated programmes of events. In line with the UK’s commitment to inclusivity, COP26 is the first COP to offer a shared pavilion, allowing delegations to host events in a pavilion built by the UK.

The UK is today publishing its programme for the UK Pavilion, which will support COP26 Presidency key goals, whilst showcasing UK climate leadership and action. The UK Pavilion will feature a broad range of partners and events, including on gender equality, and supporting indigenous and local forest communities.

British adventurer, Bear Grylls, will participate in an event on the role of young people in climate solutions with nature, whilst climate economy experts Sir Partha Dasgupta and Lord Nicholas Stern will discuss putting the environment at the heart of economic decision-making.

The Presidency Programme can be viewed here.

The UK Pavilion programme can be viewed here.

Notes for editors:
  • The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.
  • The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system (SEMS).
  • Our approach is guided by 7 Sustainability Governing Principles; actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value, provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all, encourage healthy living, ensure a safe and secure atmosphere, encourage more sustainable behaviour, promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain, and leave a positive legacy.
  • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Sneak previews of the menus, as well as other useful facts and figures, can be downloaded here.
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12.10.2021

COP26 President Designate Paris Promised, Glasgow Must Deliver

15 minute read

Alok Sharma’s speech at UNESCO, Paris on the need for world leaders to deliver at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

Thank you to my dear friend, Laurent Fabius, for your kind introductory remarks.

I am so grateful to you for your advice, support and friendship.

My thanks also to UNESCO for hosting us today.

It is very good to be in Paris,

a city steeped in history, one chapter of which was written six years ago, when the Paris Agreement was born.

To Laurent for his expert diplomacy, and indeed all the architects of that historic Agreement, we owe a huge debt of gratitude.

Because the Paris Agreement was a landmark in the global efforts to tackle climate change.

Representing a binding agreement, bringing all nations into a common cause.

To adapt to the effects of climate change, and limit the rise in average global temperature to well below two degrees, pursuing efforts towards 1.5, compared to pre-industrial levels.

In Paris, leaders provided the world with consensus, with ambition and hope.

But it was the beginning of the road.

And in the on-going effort to tackle climate change and limit global warming, in 19 days from now the world will converge on the great city of Glasgow for the latest United Nations Climate Conference, COP26.

And at that vital summit, the world must honour the promises made here in Paris six years ago.

And that ultimately, rests with world leaders.

success, or failure, of COP26 is in their hands.

And so is the fate of the Paris Agreement.

Because since it was signed, the world has not done enough.

Emissions have continued to rise, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a code red for the climate.

Stating, that unless we act immediately, the 1.5-degree limit will slip out of reach.

Already, temperatures have risen at least 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Extreme weather is on the march around the world.

This summer we have seen devastating flooding in central Europe and China,

raging wildfires in North America,

record temperatures across the globe, and what some have called the world’s first climate-induced famine in Madagascar.

It has been a truly humbling experience for me to meet communities on the front line of climate change.

Earlier this year I visited the town of Jomsom in Nepal, nestled in the Hindu Kush mountain range.

The majesty of the Himalayas is breath-taking.

But you can also clearly see the alarming impact of a warming climate.

Glaciers melted into giant lakes which, when they burst their banks, have a devastating impact on those living in the foothills.

The people I met had been driven from their villages, by the twin impacts of flooding and drought.

Their dignity still preserved, even as their homes were not.

I was recently on the island of Barbuda in the Caribbean, which was struck by hurricane Irma in 2017.

Much of the damage is still unrestored.

All around you see derelict building after building, with the roofs still blown off, the walls crumbling.

Standing in the midst of that devastation it felt as if a hurricane had blown in just a few weeks ago.

And I talked to some of those still living on the island.

They spoke of the effective forced migration of large numbers of people, who had been unable to return to their homes and rebuild their lives.

They noted, with fear, that the storms facing the region were becoming more frequent and more ferocious.

And they had a very clear message for the world, particularly the largest emitters, the G20 group of nations, to act now to reduce emissions.

I could relay many other heart breaking testimonies I have heard, from communities under siege from a changing climate.

Communities from East Africa, Southeast Asia, from South America to the Pacific.

But the point is that at 1.1 degrees warming the effects are already alarming.

And every fraction of a degree makes a difference.

At 1.5 degrees warming 700 million people would be at risk of extreme heat waves.

At 2 degrees it would be 2 billion.

At 1.5 degrees 70 per cent of the world’s coral reefs die.

At 2 degrees they are all gone.

If temperatures continue to rise we will step through a series of one-way doors,

And the end destination of which is climate catastrophe.

That is why countries on the front-line of climate change fought so hard,

for the 1.5-degree temperature limit to be enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

For them, 1.5 to stay alive is not a hollow slogan.

It is a matter of survival.

And it is why I have always been clear that, in Glasgow, the world must deliver an outcome which keeps 1.5 degrees in reach.

To achieve this, I have been asking countries to deliver on four key goals.

Emissions reductions, adaptation, finance, and working together, including to make the negotiations in Glasgow a success.

In all of these areas, working with partners around the world, we have made progress.

But on each of them, critically, we have further to go.

And leaders must deliver.

On emissions reductions, many climate vulnerable countries are leading the way.

From Bhutan and Suriname which have already achieved net zero, to the small island developing state of Barbados, which will be fossil fuel free by 2030.

I have been urging countries to follow this leadership and commit to net zero by the middle of the century.

And to set out ambitious plans to cut emissions by 2030, those 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions.

There has been progress.

When the UK took on the COP26 Presidency, less than 30 per cent of the global economy was covered by a net zero target.

That figure is now 75 per cent, and climbing.

In recent days Turkey and the UAE have both declared net zero targets.

The UAE’s an historic first in the Gulf.

And I hope that others in the region will follow, ahead of COP26.

More than 70 countries in total have come forward over the past two years with updated, and more ambitious, 2030 NDCs.

And that includes every G7 nation, all of which have NDCs aligned with net zero by 2050, and some of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.

And they want the same ambition, the same level of commitment, from the largest nations, the G20 countries which account for around 80 per cent of global emissions.

The response of the G20 will quite simply be make, or break, for keeping 1.5 within reach.

And at the G20 Climate and Energy Ministers meeting in July, every G20 country agreed to set out ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets before COP26.

The UK, France, Italy, Germany, the EU, Canada, the US, Argentina, Japan, South Korea and South Africa have done so.

Now the rest must deliver.

And all eyes will be on the G20 leaders meeting at the end of this month.

We know that we can only tackle climate change if every country plays its part.

So I say to those G20 leaders, they simply must step-up ahead of COP26.

NDCs and net zero commitments are critical to keeping 1.5 alive.

But the targets must translate into change across our economies and our societies.

So we are also urging countries to take the action needed to move to a cleaner world.

To consign coal power to history.

To accelerate the drive to clean electric vehicles.

To end deforestation.

And to reduce methane emissions.

All of which present historic opportunities to create jobs, create growth, and move to a healthier more secure world.

Now we recognise these can be complex transitions for countries.

Which comes as we face global gas supply challenges.

Yet volatile prices underscore the importance of countries accelerating their move to more clean, renewable power.

And we are seeing progress.

Take my personal priority, coal.

I was delighted to co-chair the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers meeting in July where we delivered a historic agreement that no G7 nation would finance any more coal projects internationally.

South Korea has made the same commitment.

And with China’s recent announcement, we are well on the way to choking the financing for new coal power, as we ramp up support for renewables.

But we still need the G20 to tackle domestic unabated coal use.

So, at the G20 meeting I urge leaders to kick coal into the past, where it belongs.

And I expect that at COP26 we will see further commitments on coal, cars, methane and on deforestation.

Keeping 1.5 alive has always been about driving action, and ambition, over this next vital decade.

Countries’ emission reduction commitments, and action in the areas I have outlined, are two vital parts of that.

But there is one more.

We have heard the call from countries at the Ministerial meetings in London and Milan, that we need an outcome from Glasgow that accelerates progress to 2030.

The Paris Agreement is working.

As its architects intended.

It is steadily increasing ambition.

Analysis suggests that the commitments made in Paris in 2015, would have capped the rise in temperature to below 4 degrees.

If the commitments made since then by countries are fully implemented, it could bend the temperature curve towards two degrees.

But to keep 1.5 within reach, we need to go further.

So the Glasgow negotiated outcome must launch a decade of ever-increasing ambition.

We need a system that accelerates progress recognising that, whilst all countries must act, those with the greatest responsibility must do more.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum, for example, has suggested that countries’ progress towards the Paris goals should be assessed at each COP until 2025.

Now ultimately, we will need to reach consensus on this issue.

And that is why I am grateful to Ministers Dan Jorgensen and Simon Stiell for the consultations that they are holding, on how the Glasgow outcome should keep 1.5 within reach.

To keep driving that ambition to 2030, we must also finalise the Paris Rulebook.

This must be resolved if we are to unleash the full power of the Paris Agreement.

But this is no easy task.

The outstanding issues have been discussed for years, without resolution.

I am grateful for the consultations conducted by Ministers Grace Fu and Sveinung Rotevatn on Article 6 and carbon markets, and by Ministers Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and Simonetta Sommaruga on Common Time Frames.

In London and Milan, we saw progress, but we are still some way off consensus.

And I want to be frank, it will be a challenging task to get us over the line.

So, as I said to Ministers in Italy, we must all come to COP26 armed with the currency of compromise.

Because the world will not understand if, six years on, we still cannot reach agreement on these issues in Glasgow.

Alongside emissions reductions, adaptation has always been central to our COP26 Presidency.

Even if we reached net zero tomorrow, our climate will continue to change.

So it is vital that governments set out their plans to protect people and nature from its effects, and that we increase support and finance for adaptation.

I have come to understand, just how important this issue is for many climate vulnerable nations.

And so we must redress the balance, between finance for mitigation and finance for adaptation.

And we are seeing some progress.

Every G7 country has committed to boost finance for adaptation.

And a new Champions Group on Adaptation Finance is committed to a balance in public finance, between adaptation and mitigation.

And we encourage more countries to join this grouping.

The Adaptation Action Coalition the UK launched with partners in January, now has 38 members.

More countries have come forward with adaptation commitments, but even more are needed.

We have also seen encouraging progress in the debate on loss and damage, a renewed determination to find solutions.

And at COP26 I hope that we will come together, as a global community, to help equip the most vulnerable, to protect themselves from climate change.

We want to make progress in negotiations on loss and damage and adaptation.

Now whether it is adaptation, or emissions reductions, we know that without finance, tackling climate change is well nigh impossible.

So developed countries must deliver on the 100 billion dollars a year promised to developing nations.

This is a totemic figure, a matter of trust.

And trust is a hard won, and fragile commodity, in climate negotiations.

So the 100 billion dollars continues to be an absolute priority of mine.

And I will be honest, thinking about this does keep me awake at night.

The report from the OECD last month set out that in 2019 international climate finance almost reached the 80 billion dollars mark, still over 20 billion shy of where we needed to be in 2020.

Yet recently, we have seen some progress.

Ministers Jochen Flashbarth and Jonathan Wilkinson, are working with me on a Delivery Plan for how, together, developed countries will deliver the 100 billion dollars a year.

We hope to publish the plan before COP26.

And under the UK Presidency, every G7 nation has committed to do more towards the 100 billion dollars.

The UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and the US have pledged new money.

And the European Commission, Sweden and Denmark also have been pledging additional funds, so we are now within touching distance of the $100billion.

Based on the conversations I have had, I am hopeful that more countries will make commitments.

And my message to leaders in every donor nation is clear.

Please step forward now, in these few days before COP26.

Because that promised 100 billion dollars is vital to the success of the summit.

We simply must deliver.

At COP26 we will also start deliberations on the post 2025 finance goal.

And, more broadly, we must address issues such as fiscal space.

So I hope we will hear progress on SDR channelling to developing and vulnerable countries at the IMF and World Bank Annual meetings this week.

This has been a focus of mine, and that is why I have championed this issue with the IMF.

The Paris Agreement set us on a path to transform all global financial flows to deliver a green and sustainable economy.

so, as well as delivering public finance, we need to unleash trillions of dollars of private finance to transition to a greener world.

I am pleased to see the success of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, led by Mark Carney and others.

This now represents over $90trillion in assets.

Its an enormous achievement.

The next step, is to ensure that some of this money is channelled into developing countries, to scale up green, resilient infrastructure.

And also we need development banks to play their part, to help mobilise private funds, driving down the cost of capital.

The task the world faces at COP26 is unprecedented.

Both in terms of what is at stake, and the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The ongoing menace of COVID-19 will make COP26 a COP like no other.

There will be daily testing, masks, social distancing, and limits on room numbers, by necessity.

This is to keep delegates and the local community safe.

It will be an extraordinary COP, in extraordinary times.

But collectively, we must pull together to make it work.

Forging unity from the unfamiliar.

Because we have no choice, but to deliver.

Every country must step-up.

And as COP26 President I will ensure that every voice is heard.

That the smallest nations are sitting face-to-face, with the world’s largest powers.

As equal parties to the process.

And that is why the UK is funding quarantine hotels for delegates.

That is why we offered vaccinations to all accredited delegates, who would not have been able to access them in their home nations.

And today I am pleased to announce new Self-Isolation Support Funds,created by the UNFCCC with the backing of civil society backers which will be available to accredited party delegates, eligible civil society and media from developing countries.

This will cover their costs if they do contract COVID during their stay in Glasgow, and have to self-isolate, thereby requiring a longer stay in Glasgow.

I am also determined that the voices of young people, of indigenous people, women and civil society will be heard.

As part of a truly inclusive summit.

So the UK COP26 Presidency is funding a pavilion for the Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change.

We are hosting a designated Gender Day.

And we are working with young people to host a Youth & Public Empowerment Day.

And I ask global leaders to take inspiration from these young people.

From the passion that I have witnessed from them around the world, and the ambition and commitment I saw on display at the recent Youth4Climate event in Milan.

I ask global leaders to listen to the message of the faith leaders and scientists I met at the Vatican last week, whose Appeal on climate exemplifies the co-operation we must embody.

And I ask global leaders to take their lead from those climate vulnerable countries taking action, in the most difficult circumstances.

There is no denying that the issues at any COP are complex.

Passions, understandably, run high.

But ultimately, success depends on us all.

And, I will do my utmost, as a neutral broker, to shepherd us towards agreement.

COP26 is not a photo op, nor a talking shop.

It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate.

And that is down to leaders.

It is leaders who made a promise to the world in Paris six years ago.

And it is leaders that must honour it.

Responsibility rests with each and every country.

And we must all play our part.

Because on climate, the world will succeed, or fail, as one.

We are almost at the end of the road.

And at the Youth4Climate event, I heard young people direct real anger at world leaders.

So now is the time, to redeem ourselves.

Because as my childhood hero, and our COP26 President’s Advocate, Sir David Attenborough has said:

“The moment of crisis has come… The future of humanity, and indeed all life on earth, depends on us.”

So let’s see world leaders come together for our planet,

in that 2015 spirit of hope, fraternity, and ambition.

Paris, promised.

Glasgow, must deliver.

Thank you

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01.10.2021

Climate change brought to life at COP26 with over 200 events in Glasgow

2 minute read

  • Tickets will be available shortly for the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow
  • Singer Ellie Goulding announced as a COP26 Advocate

COP26 will open its doors to the British public throughout the international climate summit, with more than 200 events being hosted in the UK-run Green Zone in Glasgow between Monday 1 November and Friday 12 November.

The Green Zone, hosted in the Glasgow Science Centre, will bring together young people, indigenous leaders, businesses and grassroots communities who will showcase cultural performances, exhibitions, talks, film screenings and technical demonstrations to a global audience.

Tickets will be available free of charge to the public with most events also streamed live on the COP26 YouTube channel so people across the UK and the globe can join in.

Global singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding has also been announced as a COP26 Advocate. Ms Goulding will be raising awareness about climate change to audiences in the UK and around the world, promoting the importance of climate action to young people and will also be attending COP26 in Glasgow.

Over 300 organisations will take part including:

  • Musicians in Exile, Glasgow’s asylum seeking and refugee musicians will perform music from their homelands with new songs created for COP26 about the impact of climate change on refugees now, and in the near future
  • An immersive multimedia IMAX experience, Can I live? from Fehinti Balogun sharing how, as a young Black British man, he has found his place in the climate movement. It weaves his story with spoken word, rap, theatre, animation and the scientific facts
  • ActionAid, featuring ‘Earth Observers’, a women-led debate on climate justice from space frontiers to frontline farmers. Female leaders including Nicole Stott (Veteran-NASA Astronaut) from the worlds of science, space exploration, activism and the arts will discuss how they’ve witnessed climate change from unique vantage points, and what they’ve learned about solutions, collaboration and ambition
  • Tron Young Theatre, featuring ‘Retro/Future’, a documentary film about the River Clyde made by six young Glaswegians who have been engaging with young activists in Colombia and exploring ideas around climate change in their countries

COP26 Principal Partners (Unilever, SSE, Sky, ScottishPower, Sainsburys, Reckitt, NatWest Group, National Grid, Microsoft, Hitachi and GSK) will have a strong presence at the COP26 Green Zone to share their experiences, showcase their commitment to fighting climate change, support and encourage others to do the same, and make a difference in a global issue of paramount importance.

They will all be hosting exciting interactive exhibition stands in the Green Zone, and running a host of diverse and interesting events and premieres covering a range of themes relevant to tackling climate change alongside other world experts and interesting speakers.

The Green Zone will also feature some of the individuals, businesses and organisations in all four nations of the UK who are all going one step greener to protect the planet, as part of the Government’s Together for our Planet campaign.

From a British FormulaE race car showcasing the power of electric vehicles, to the artwork created by children across the country to inspire climate action, the Green Zone will convey the passion and innovation of the UK’s fight in tackling climate change.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:

COP26 is our last best hope for the world to come together and tackle climate change. So the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow when global leaders arrive in November.

As well as the crucial climate negotiations, COP26 is a fantastic opportunity for businesses, civil society, academia, indigenous groups, and young people to showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change to both a local and a global audience.

Tickets will be available shortly and I would encourage the UK public to use this unique opportunity to engage with this momentous event.

Ellie Goulding, COP26 Advocate said:

I’ve taken on the role as an Advocate for the UN climate change conference COP26. I believe that COP26 MUST be the moment global leaders listen to the scientists and tackle the climate crisis for all our sakes. We have to keep 1.5 alive.

There’s going to be an incredible energy and focus in Glasgow in November and I think it’s important that as many people as possible take part in deciding their future on this planet. I’m encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.

Background

  • For Green Zone programme see here
  • Tickets will be available via the COP26 website on 11 October 2021.