Let's recap a very successful UN COP last December as the perfect way to get motivated for the coming 12 months. Here are our 6 key takeaways from COP:
1) Enormous opportunity to take INDC goals and develop matching Country Investment Plans
The one hundred and eighty-six national INDCs are one of the greatest achievements of this COP21 process. Implementing these individual country plans will need investors, development banks NGOs and governments all working together.
Enormous opportunity now clearly exists to deploy green bond and climate bond financing, to renew ageing infrastructure and to provide climate finance for emerging markets and economies that require new energy, water, transport and urban networks over coming decades.
(The Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition launched at COP21 – see below - will be working on this.)
2) Lots Investors, Lots of Bonding at COP21
This time around companies, investors and financial services were keen to be part of the COP21 agenda and debates.
The conference awash with business representatives and institutional investors all talking climate finance. Green Bonds were regularly cited as a potential source of climate capital.
Is this widespread participation and recognition a turning point marking greater market and investor support for climate action?
3) Cities and Regions Take the Lead
While much of the attention was on national players, the voice and presence of major cities and regions was everywhere. COP 21 saw city leaders building a new urban action networks. (To support this growing movement Climate Bonds released a “How to issue a Green City Bond” guide.)
3) Need to merge green and infrastructure plans
Working in silos is sooo 2014. Now there is a widely recognised need to combine country level green and infrastructure plans.
To help with this transition a Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition was launched at COP21. This is an alliance of financial sector associations founded by Climate Bonds Initiative, the Principles for Responsible Investment, UNEP Inquiry and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).
A dozen investor organisations have already joined.
The coalition is inviting more institutional investors & development banks to join them and work more closely on promoting large scale financing of green infrastructure.
4) The 1.5 degree Target
Thank you to the High Ambition Coalition to set the right target which scientific community has been telling us for years. The Agreement sets us towards limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, puts significant transition and financial measures in train and cements the global consensus on moving to a low carbon future.
This is a substantive, tremendous result that has been achieved by the parties in Paris.
5) Momentum, Momentum, Momentum …. and confidence in the shift to a green future
Bravo to all parties on their willingness to reach an unparalleled international climate consensus in Paris. In particular we extend our recognition to the French Government, the UN and UNFCCC on their long-term efforts to ensure COP21 results in a successful global outcome.
The ball is rolling. We are heading the right direction. The future is green!