On 7th and 8th December Eurosif attended the Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF15) in Paris, the largest business-focused side-event at COP21 organised by Climate Action and UNEP. This engaging and interactive conference gathered over 750 participants representing businesses, start-ups, investors, governments, academia, media, NGOs and civil society. The aim was to showcase innovative solutions to the climate challenge, to foster dialogue and collaboration, and bring scale to the emerging green economy. Sessions included high level speeches, plenary sessions, panel debates, and interactive roundtables. Sustainable innovations in multiple sectors were showcased and discussed, including sustainable investment, renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable cities, land use, agriculture and forestry, water, transport and more.
Sustainable investment and the role of financial markets in addressing the climate challenge were high on the agenda and touched upon in most of the sessions. In particular, the topic received a lot of attention in the context of carbon pricing and markets, low carbon infrastructure and green bonds.
During the different sessions, the discussion revolved mainly around green finance and its potential to fight climate change and stimulate the economy.
Maintaining investor confidence is seen as key in order to scale up green bond issuance and impact. The most important signal from COP21 will be a political commitment to fighting climate change. This would boost investors with the confidence needed to continue investing in climate solutions, also through green bonds.
Climate change does not only represent business risks, but also opportunities and there are plenty market opportunities to grab. Investors should screen for companies with sustainable business models and truly capable of making a difference.
Finally, political leadership and appropriate policies should bridge the gap between investors and businesses in the fight against climate change.