Friday, February 4, 2022
The aim of COP26 was to further initiatives aimed at protecting the earth's fragile ecosystem. Resulting initiatives, led by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and subcommittees, ranged from climate adaptation financing, transparent reporting and a global implementation strategy, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated.
Noting that 760 million people lack access to electricity and 2.6 billion lack clean cooking solutions, Guterres urged attendees to solve these challenges. "With the global roadmap at hand, we can together realize the potential of energy as a crucial enabler for the achievement of the [sustainable development goals] and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, ensuring a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future for people and the planet," he said.
Philipp Aeby, CEO of RepRisk, pointed out that transparent reporting is a critical tool for investors focused on sustainable capital allocation. "Being transparent enables our clients to make better informed decisions – and it's the right thing to do," he said. "As a pioneer in the ESG data industry, we are excited to see the growth, acceptance, and adoption of ESG data."
The Net-Zero Banking Alliance, comprising 98 members from 39 countries collectively managing $66 trillion in assets, committed to fight climate change by supporting net-zero emissions. NZBA members pledged to follow the following guidelines:
Climate First Bank is known as the world's first climate-focused bank. "Climate First Bank is proud to join [the NZBA] alliance and work together with our peers in the finance sector to accelerate action on climate and further our collective goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050," said the bank's CEO and founder Ken LaRoe. "Banks have a huge part to play in our battle against the climate crisis. Each investment in fossil fuels and other extractive industries is an investment against humanity's future. That's why changing finance to finance change is a huge cornerstone in the plan to save our planet."
LaRoe described Climate First as a values-based community bank that offers simple, easy-to-use banking products, powered by technology, to meet the expectations of today's consumers. In addition to standard banking services, the bank places special emphasis on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and businesses committed to sustainability, he stated. Eco-conscious customers will find dedicated loan options for solar photovoltaic (PV), energy retrofits and infrastructure to help combat the climate crisis.
Oliver Griffith, a former World Bank executive and former U.S. diplomat, noted deforestation is a leading contributor to climate change. "To meet the target of limiting temperature rise to 1.5° C, emissions from deforestation must decrease by between 70 to 90 percent by 2030," he said. "A coalition of the willing at COP pledged to do so by 2030 by stopping all deforestation. To get there will take concerted and cooperative action by all stakeholders - governments, the private sector, NGOs, donors, and, most of all, those that live in and off the forests."
As Griffith noted, 141 nations pledged to fight climate change during COP26 by adopting the following measures:
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