Crunch time for the Green Climate Fund

Following the Paris Agreement on climate change, 2016 has become a pivotal year for a key climate finance institution: the Green Climate Fund 
(GCF). Having recently approved a range of new projects, the GCF is making progress. But there are still some fundamental things that need to happen 
for it to become more effective.

The GCF was created in 2010 to channel a portion of the billions of dollars that are needed to fight climate change and adapt to its impacts. Shifting public and private investment from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ is an essential part of fighting climate change. Rich countries have pledged to mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020 in funding for poor countries to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions.

Read the rest on the Climate 2020 report site of the United Nations Associations UK.

The Paris climate summit: the waiting is nearly over

On Sunday 29 November, David Cameron will join other Heads of State and Government in Paris to kick off crucial 2-week talks on climate change, also known as COP21. This is the culmination of a year of dramatic developments – summarised here – with high hopes that that an agreement can be reached.

Arguably, the summit could already be viewed as as a success. For the first time ever, virtually all countries have – in the run up to the summit – made pledges for constraining emissions, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). If implemented, these could have quite dramatic implications, such as a potential doubling of renewable energy supply in the eight major emitters by 2030 – 18% higher than previously projected growth rates.

Read the rest on the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit blog.

8 things that could “shift the trillions” to a low carbon economy

With less than one week to go before the Paris climate negotiations, a big area to watch will be whether developed countries are meeting the requirement to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 in funding for poor countries to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. This may seem like a lot of money, but it pales in comparison to what needs to happen after COP21 to “shift the trillions” towards a low carbon economy.

To put this figure in context, the International Energy Agency estimates that subsidies to fossil fuels amounted to around $544 billion in 2012. The World Resources Institute say that by 2020, about $5.7 trillion will need to be invested annually in green infrastructure, much of it in the developing world. Others quote much higher figures, but the bottom line is that the amount of funding required to shift the global economy towards low carbon investment is in the scale of trillions rather than billions.

The “climate finance” debate is ultimately a fight over who is responsible for climate change and who has to pay.

Read the rest of this article on the World Economic Forum blog.

Vote in the EU elections – and ask your friends & family to do the same

euenvironmentblog.eu

Don’t believe what you read in the newspapers or see on TV – the elections for the European Parliament really are important.

They aren’t just an opportunity to vote against the governing parties in your country – or to vote against European Union (EU) policies on austerity – or even against the EU itself.

The European Parliament has real power, as one of the two pillars of decision making on EU laws (the other being elected governments). Yes, the European Commission proposes laws, but it is the parliament and EU governments who decide what happens.

Do EU laws matter? Can the parliament make a difference? Yes in both cases.

  • If you care about climate change (and everyone should), EU laws are vital for ensuring that we invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. They are also helping make our products more energy efficient, saving money, emissions and generating innovation…

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