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  • 19/04/2024 Foreword of the week
    World bank and IMF Spring Meetings: How can the reformed institutions play a leading role in funding the transition?
    Rethinking how development can be financed to take into account the rising challenges of our time is a fastidious task, especially when thousands of experts, decision makers and practitioners want to leave their print. The outline of the new international financial architecture is being debated again this week, with more questions open for discussion than consensus on the answers. 
  • 19/04/2024 Blog post
    More and better finance: maximising positive climate impacts for a timely transition 
    Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, significant strides have been made to foster the commitment of countries and financial institutions to address the climate crisis and ensure that climate risks and opportunities are considered in investments. However, with emissions required to peak before 2025, our window of opportunity is rapidly closing to keep +1.5°C within reach. Financial needs to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to address adaptation priorities are increasing rapidly in the meantime. Luis Zamarioli Santos and Diana Cárdenas Monar, from I4CE, believe that commitment must urgently translate into action, and action must bring the urgent change the world needs. Both governments and public financial institutions have a central role to play to deliver more and better finance, maximising positive impacts. This blogpost highlights some opportunities to advance in the path for a systemic transformation, involving key stakeholders with a whole-economy approach.  
  • 15/03/2024 Foreword of the week
    Certification framework: the devil is in the details
    A few days after the conclusion of negotiations on the European Union's carbon removals certification Framework (CRCF), I4CE helped organise the European Carbon Farming Summit in Valencia, as part of the CREDIBLE project. The high level of stakeholder participation at the summit testifies to the expectations that this new tool will contribute to a better economic valuation of carbon farming practices. The summit raised high hopes for improving and harmonising carbon measurement to certify projects, in particular through remote sensing, in a sector where there is a great deal of uncertainty. While it is vital to improve measurement and monitoring, uncertainty must not be allowed to justify inaction, and the key is to find the right balance between cost and accuracy.
  • 08/03/2024 Foreword of the week
    Fossil fuel phase-out: Development banks need to play a bigger role
    A couple of months ago, COP28 called for the acceleration of efforts “towards the phase-down of unabated coal power”. Limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C requires stopping the construction of new coal power plants, that’s for sure. But it also requires retiring existing plants before the end of their lifetimes, which can be more challenging. Public development banks (PDBs) are well-positioned to help overcome barriers to coal phase-out and support countries with the transition to decarbonised electricity systems. A growing number of these banks are exploring strategies to accelerate the early retirement of coal plants. Yet these efforts may carry risks of unintended adverse impacts.
  • 29/02/2024 Blog post
    European certification framework: a high-quality outline that does not guarantee the value of the final picture
    The European co-legislators have just reached an agreement on the content of the future European Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF). Negotiations were swift and fruitful, against a backdrop of a general step back in the adoption of the various Green Deal texts. While today sees environmental issues played off against farmer's livelihoods, this draft regulation brings these two elements together to create the conditions for investment in the transition of agriculture and forestry sectors. However, several details still need to be clarified to ensure that this framework actually enables effective and ambitious climate financing.
  • 23/02/2024 Foreword of the week
    European climate investments must double to hit 2030 EU targets
    This week, I4CE launches the first European Climate Investment Deficit report. During a year’s research, we analysed investments in 22 sectors of the EU27 economy that are critical for the EU to deliver its 2030 climate and energy security objectives. The European Green Deal is gaining economic momentum, as climate investments in the EU grew 9% in 2022, reaching […]
  • 16/02/2024 Foreword of the week
    Mobilising banks in the transition: supervisors must have better use of risk management
    The European Union is continuing its efforts to ensure that the banking system takes climate change into account. Banks will have to draw up a "transition plan", according to the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) guidelines that are out for consultation until April.  One could hope that the banking authorities would seize this opportunity to encourage banks to better finance the transition, since their voluntary commitments are not sufficient. But the EBA does not make it a clear objective.
  • 26/01/2024 Foreword of the week
    Failing to plan is planning to fail: Prudential transition plans and European Banking Authority consultation
    After nearly 4 years of negotiations, the European Union has just reached an agreement to reform the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) for banks. The inclusion of climate change is a major step forward: banks will have to draw up prudential transition plans, supervised by the European Central Bank. These plans will complement the European regulatory architecture that is being put in place for large companies, with the Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the Due Diligences Directive (CSDD). Are these banking transition plans a sufficient breakthrough to finally commit banks to climate neutrality? The answer to this question will depend on the implementation of EU legislation.
  • 12/01/2024 Foreword of the week
    In 2024, fewer wishes, and more financing plans for the ecological transition
    The Global Stocktake at COP28 in Dubai marked the start of a cycle for reviewing governments’ decarbonization trajectories. The cycle will end at COP30 in Brazil at the end of 2025, and 2024 will hopefully show progress in the ambition of these trajectories. We equally hope that this renewed ambition will be accompanied by a reflection on the financing plans for national low-carbon trajectories, covering the amounts and evolution over time of domestic and international resources, and the respective roles of the private and public sectors. Because simply put, a low-carbon transition with no associated financing plan is not a transition, it is mere wishful thinking.
  • 08/12/2023 Foreword of the week
    Private finance: it’s time to rethink the European strategy
    There is a broad consensus that private finance has an important role to play in financing the climate transition, given the scale of needs and the constraints on public finances. Beyond investments in climate alone, all financial activities must be reoriented to be compatible with the transition. This shift cannot take place on a voluntary basis at the scale and speed required. The inactivity of financial players, the weight of past financing, and the demands of shareholder profitability limit the effectiveness of voluntary international initiatives to which private financial players commit themselves.
  • 01/12/2023 Foreword of the week
    COP28 : It’s money time !
    COP28 in Dubai kicks off amidst a worrying climate backdrop. For the first time, the threshold of a 2°C temperature rise compared to the pre-industrial era was exceeded in one day. In addition, a report published by the UN this week warns that current policies are placing the planet on a warming trajectory of 2.9°C, and that the chances of maintaining the increase at +1.5°C are now of only 14%. The results of the first Global Stocktake, a worldwide assessment of the actions taken by countries since the Paris Agreement, will be published at the COP and should confirm the urgent need to change the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • 29/11/2023 Blog post
    Climate finance: multiplying the numbers will not solve the equation alone
    Much of the discussions at COP28 will focus on the 100 billion USD/year target decided at Copenhagen to support climate investments in the Global South, and on the new climate finance goal set to replace it. But, whilst keeping our eyes on the volumes laid on the table, we also need to look more into the impact of every dollar spent. Identifying and building on the value added of every actor in the economy is essential to avoid overlaps and maximise synergies. Three types of actors have a pivotal role to play in the paradigm shift: governments, public financial institutions and private financial institutions.
  • 22/11/2023 Blog post
    Carbon prices: the winds of change
    After several years of strong growth, the revenue generated by carbon pricing mechanisms (carbon taxes or markets) worldwide, as reported in our 2023 edition of the Global Carbon Accounts, stabilized at nearly USD 100 billion. This stabilization could not be more deceptive.  The future has rarely been so uncertain for carbon prices, caught between very strong opposing trends, and the next two years could mark a major turning point, for good or bad, for the use of these climate policy instruments worldwide. 
  • 21/11/2023 Op-ed
    Cleantech divide looms in Europe
    Investment in the development of the cleantech sector in Europe is too slow and unevenly spread across EU member states and despite its best intentions, it is not clear that the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) will rectify this. Unveiling the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) earlier this year, Ursula Von Der Leyen declared it would “create the best conditions for those sectors that are crucial for us to reach net-zero by 2050: technologies like wind turbines, heat pumps, solar panels, renewable hydrogen as well as CO2 storage.”
  • 30/10/2023 Blog post
    Response to GFANZ APAC on financing the early retirement of coal-fired power plants
    NewClimate Institute and the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) submitted a response to a public consultation on the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero’s proposed set of voluntary guidance for financing the early retirement of coal-fired power plants in Asia-Pacific. This blog post highlights key points from our submission. Preventing the worst impacts of the climate crisis, particularly for the most vulnerable, requires halting coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) in the pipeline and retiring a substantial portion of the existing global coal fleet before the end of their technical lifetime. While countries have committed to phase out unabated coal in the Glasgow Climate Pact, 350 GW of new capacity is proposed globally with an additional 192 GW under construction.
  • 30/10/2023 Foreword of the week
    Wood industry: What are European countries doing?
    Year after year, France becomes aware of the drastic deterioration in the carbon sink of its forests. Tree mortality increases sharply with droughts and health crises. Yet France needs this carbon sink to achieve its climate objectives and needs to preserve it by improving the resilience of its forests, but also - and this is less obvious - by making the best possible use of the harvested wood from the forests. France's climate strategy is counting heavily on maximising the carbon sink in wood products, i.e. making greater use of the wood harvested to manufacture long-lasting products, particularly in the construction industry. Some products store carbon over the long term, and are not only those that we imagine at first glance, as we showed in a previous study. 
  • 13/10/2023 Foreword of the week
    Climate investment: the French receipe
    Climate action is a rich stew with many ingredients. From transport to agriculture, construction to forestry, every part supports the whole. The stew would be incomplete without one crucial but rare addition: public investment. Chefs d’état in Paris and Brussels are currently scratching their heads on how best to add this ingredient to the pot. Two hurdles face them: how to invest enough, and how to guarantee that investment over the long term.  In this newsletter, we have translated some of I4CE's analysis to better understand what's going on in the French kitchen, complemented with a dash of a European cleantech investment plan.
  • 09/10/2023 Blog post
    Taking a first STEP towards a cleantech investment plan
    The EU’s Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) is an important boost towards unlocking future cleantech public finance. In this blog, Ciarán Humphreys argues that Member States should get behind a European solution.
  • 03/10/2023 Blog post
    Climate: five key debates from the French marathon budget
    Climate change and ecological planning are taking centre stage in this autumn’s budgetary measures. The public finance programming act, which has yet to be discussed with the Senate, now requires the government to set out a multi-year funding strategy for planning. The finance bill for 2024, which will go through Parliament soon, earmarks an additional €7 billion in transition support for households, businesses and local authorities. This €7 billion does not, however, resolve the issue of financing the climate transition, and in this post we provide an overview of the key climate debates that will take place, or ought to take place according to I4CE, during this veritable marathon budget.
  • 02/10/2023 Op-ed
    France will (finally) adopt a strategy to finance the ecological transition
    The financing strategy, an essential element of ecological planning, has previously been set out annually in the finance bill. From now on, the government will be drawing up a multi-year strategy that will give both the State and the private sector a clear view of the future. This was long overdue.

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