What we learned at the One Planet Summit

13 December 2017

On Tuesday the 12th of December, Eurosif attended the One Planet Summit - a gathering in Paris, two years on from the Paris Agreement. Convened by the French President, Emmanuel Macron,  over 50 heads of state came together for a status update on the fight against climate change.

Naturally, the Summit was considered the perfect platform to launch a spate of initiatives and commitments - a selection of which can be found below:

EU External Investment Plan: climate-smart investments worth EUR €9 billion unveiled at ‘One Planet Summit’:

  • As part of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP), which is set to mobilise at least €44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries by 2020.
  • In his speech, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete announced climate-relevant investments in three targeted areas – sustainable cities, sustainable energy and connectivity and sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agribusiness. These targeted areas are expected to generate up to EUR €9 billion investments by 2020.

Sustainable Finance Facilities: UN Environment and BNP Paribas sign a milestone agreement to establish collaborative partnerships with a target of capital funding amounting to USD 10 billion by 2025 in developing countries:

  • UN Environment and BNP Paribas will collaborate to identify suitable commercial projects with measurable environmental and social impact. The aim is to support smallholder projects related to renewable energy access, agroforestry, water access and responsible agriculture, among other sustainable activities.
  • The Sustainable Finance Facilities programme is the first of its kind in terms of collaboration between companies, investors, development sector partners, and civil society organisations, with the support of national governments.
  • This agreement builds on the Tropical Landscapes Financing Facility, a partnership between UN Environment, BNP Paribas, World Agroforestry Centre and ADM Capital in Indonesia.

Climate Action 100+: 225 investors with more than USD 26.3 trillion assets under management to engage with 100+ companies to accelerate climate action:

  • Global investors launched a new initiative to drive action on climate change from the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters by ensuring they act swiftly to improve governance on climate change, curb emissions, and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures.
  • Specifically, as part of their collaborative engagement, investors from around the world will ask companies to: Implement a strong governance framework which clearly articulates the board’s accountability and oversight of climate change risk; take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain; provide enhanced corporate disclosure in line with the final recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The Caribbean Climate Smart Coalition: Caribbean leaders launch ambitious plan to create the world’s first “climate smart zone”, seeking rapid implementation of USD 8 billion climate investment plan:

  • Alongside the ongoing emergency response, Caribbean leaders announced the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world’s first “climate-smart zone” that will transform the regional energy system, build resiliency, drive economic growth and set a global example.
  • The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition will support and help catalyse an ambitious USD 8 billion investment plan to bring greater energy and infrastructure resilience to 3.2 million Caribbean households. It will help Caribbean islands to eliminate their costly dependency on fossil fuels so that they can meet close to 100% percent of their energy needs from clean or renewable sources, and to embed resilience into communities and livelihoods to realise the bold ambitions of all Caribbean people.

UN Women: Initiative to boost resilience of women and youth in the Sahel through climate-smart agriculture will transform livelihoods of a million people by doubling their income in three years:

  • The climate smart agriculture programme will leverage information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide access to agriculture assets. Using a digital platform, known as ‘Buy-From-Farmers’ or AgriFed, small-scale women and youth farmers will be connected to customers, suppliers, information, markets and finance to help build their economic identity and make them valued entrepreneurs, able to end food insecurity in the Sahel.
  • UN Women presented the programme, which is among some 12 initiatives showcased at today’s Summit, on behalf of the UN system.

UNITLIFE: Initiative to galvanize new global, regional and national level public-private partnerships for generating more innovative financing for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:

  • UNITLIFE will use digital innovation to collect voluntary micro-donations from consumers at the time of a purchase. During the initiative’s implementation phase, the micro-donations will go into a central fund, hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
  • The funds will then be disbursed to support a set of important and complementary measures, currently overlooked and underfunded, in order to address both climate change and malnutrition (affecting approximately one in five children worldwide and constituting a major hindrance for the development of the poorest countries).
  • An early program, supported by UN Women, will encourage training for women on climate-resilient agriculture in the Sahel region.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): Two hundred thirty-seven companies with a combined market capitalization of over $6.3 trillion have publicly committed to support the TCFD:

  • Mike Bloomberg and FSB Chair Mark Carney announced growing support for the TCFD on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, including over 150 financial firms, responsible for assets of over USD 81.7 trillion.
  • The companies and organizations supporting the TCFD, which have more than doubled in number in the five months since the recommendations were published in June 2017, span the entire capital and investment chain—from companies that issue equity and debt to the largest credit rating agencies to stock exchanges and ultimately to investors that buy the equities and debt.

EBRD and global cities group scale up green urban financing:

  • Under the new partnership, the EBRD and the GCoM are seeking to drive climate action in up to 60 cities, including many that have not been a focus for climate support so far.
  • The EBRD will provide over US$ 500 million in “first mover” financing aimed at leveraging additional third party contributions for the development and implementation of city action plans and projects worth a total of US$ 1.5 billion.

Canada and World Bank Partnership to support effective climate action in developing countries in support of the Paris Agreement:

  • Canada and the World Bank Group will support the acceleration of developing countries’ transition away from traditional coal-fired electricity toward clean energy to power their fast-growing economies.
  • They will also support small island developing states in expanding their renewable energy infrastructure, helping to put them on a more sustainable pathway that is less polluting and ensures greater energy access. This work also includes sharing best practices on how to ensure a just transition for displaced workers and their communities to minimize hardships and help workers and communities benefit from new clean growth opportunities.

AXA accelerates its commitment to fight climate change: multiplying green investments fourfold to Euro 12 billion by 2020; and committing to over Euro 3 billion of additional divestments from carbon-intensive energy producers:

  • In 2015, AXA committed to reach Euro 3 billion in green investments by 2020. Given that this target has already been reached, the Group has decided to quadruple its original target and reach Euro 12 billion by 2020.
  • AXA decided two years ago to divest Euro 500 million from the coal industry by targeting companies which derive over 50% of their revenues from coal. Today, the group decided to increase its divestment fivefold to reach Euro 2.4 billion, by divesting from companies which derive more than 30% of their revenues from coal, have a coal-based energy mix that exceeds 30%, actively build new coal plants, or produce more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year.

Storebrand, Norway’s biggest private pension fund, launched a USD 1.3 billion fossil-fuel-free bond programme and urged investors to do more to curb climate change:

  • The bond fund adds to USD 2.1 billion equity funds run by Storebrand which also have no investments in fossil fuels. In total, Storebrand has a total USD 80 billion worth of assets under management.
  • The new fund, Storebrand Global Kreditt IG, will be invested mainly in corporate bonds issued by financial institutions and industrial companies in developed nations.

The World Bank to no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019:

  • World Bank says it will cease financing upstream oil and gas after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances, where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments).
  • The bank also announced it was “on track to meet its target of 28 percent of its lending going to climate action by 2020.”

Green Bonds Pledge: Industrial issuers of €26 billion in Green bonds pledge to double down on green financing:

  • Nine of Europe’s largest industrial emitters of green bonds (EDF, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Icade, Paprec, SNCF Réseau, SSE and TenneT) publicly announced their pledge to further develop one of the most dynamic segments of sustainable finance today, the green bond market.
  • These companies have joined forces to voice their commitment to the green bond market as part of their strategy, financing policy and their active engagement in the reporting debate and dialogue with investors. The pledge also calls upon other industrial corporates to consider issuing green bonds.

Financial Disclosure in China: “By 2020 every listed company in China must disclose information on environmental impacts”:

  • Top green finance official Ma Jun told Climate Finance Day attendees that China wants international support to clean up its investments abroad. Ma Jun explained that without this information, the market cannot determine who is green – or not.
  • China is also encouraging green investment at home. These range from cheap money for banks that invest in green projects to requiring certain industries to take out pollution liability insurance.
  • He said that 2020, all companies would be required to disclose information on their environmental impact: “The basic logic is: we need a lot of money for green investments”.

Shareholders Resolutions: Exxon has bowed to shareholders’ demands to provide details on climate-change impact to its business:

  • ExxonMobil says it will publish new details about how climate change could affect its business, in a move aimed at appeasing critics and forestalling another proxy fight next year.
  • The largest U.S. oil and gas producer said in a filing to U.S. securities regulators that its board agreed to provide shareholders with information on “energy demand sensitivities, implications of two degree Celsius scenarios, and positioning for a lower-carbon future.”

One Planet Charter: ICLEI, Global Covenant of Mayors, and C40 announce to charter to accelerate Local Implementation of the Paris Agreement:

  • Through the One Planet Charter, cities will commit to specific climate action that drives investments, sustainable public procurement, and policy decisions in renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and efforts for zero emission buildings and zero waste.
  • The Charter highlights cities’ commitment to increase demand for sustainable and resilient infrastructure, products and services, while also recognizing the importance of working closely with national governments and business sectors to mobilise global climate action.
  • Cities will bring detailed commitments to the 2018 Global Action Summit in California.

Urban 20 (U20): C40 Cities launch U20 initiative to raise the profile of urban issues and enhance the role of cities in the G20 agenda:

  • Urban 20 (U20) is a new diplomatic initiative, facilitated by C40 Cities, to help cities develop collective messages and inclusive solutions for global issues such as climate action, the future of work and social integration.
  • The initiative will bring together 30 major cities located in G20 countries, and many other global cities, to raise the profile of urban issues in the G20 agenda and enhance the role of cities in the G20 process.
  • The inaugural U20 Mayors Summit will meet in Buenos Aires in October 2018, ahead of the G20 Heads of State Summit hosted by Argentina.

Research on health benefits of climate action in Paris holds lessons for cities worldwide: such yaction adds 3 weeks to average life expectancy for every citizen of Paris and could prevent 45,000 premature deaths globally each year:

  • New research by C40 Cities and announced by Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo & Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed the scale of the potential health benefits that could be achieved by cities and regions implementing climate action and policies to clean the air that citizens breathe.
  • Walking or cycling to work, on green & healthy streets, can cut your risk of heart disease by almost one quarter and type 2 diabetes by 15%, and it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

UNIDO has mobilized US$849m to protect the ozone layer and reduce global warming:

  • Since becoming an implementing agency of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol in 1992, UNIDO has completed around 1,400 projects to phase-out ozone-depleting substances in developing countries and economies in transition.
  • As a recipient of 20% of the budget of the Multilateral Fund, UNIDO has received USD $849 million to prepare and appraise investment project proposals and implement phase-out schedules at plant level.

(List via UN Climate Change)