COP26: Larry Fink criticises greenwashing; ADB to buy-and-retire coal plants; huge pledge to cut methane reinforces IEA’s no-gas stance; steel going green

COP26: Larry Fink criticises greenwashing; ADB to buy-and-retire coal plants; methane pledge, green steel​

We’re at COP26 (surprise!). Some highlights so far:

Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, called for a new business model for the energy transition at the Green Horizon Summit. Fink criticised oil and gas companies selling off their most polluting assets as greenwashing and implored investors to work with these companies to manage the decline of oil and gas assets.

Masatsugu Asakawa President of the ADB announced the launch of the new ASEAN Green Recovery Platform. This is a catalytic USD665 million fund pledged by the UK, Italy, EU and GCF that aims to mobilise USD7 billion for low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects.

The ADB will also be launching an Energy Transition Mechanism which will use blended finance to retire existing coal plants. Yes! Indonesian Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif stressed the importance of such funds to enable the transition of Indonesia’s currently 65% coal-fired Indonesian power generation and to grasp opportunities for wind generation.

Tuesday saw the signing of the Global Methane Pledge by 105 signatories. Excellent. The logical extension of this, especially given the IEA’s modelling showing any new gas is not consistent with achieving our climate targets, is that any new gas investments are now stopped. At a minimum, investors will need to factor in a heightened risk of this happening.

Tuesday also saw 100 countries, representing over 85% of the world’s forests commit to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. This is crucial. Now we need to see the “how”.

The Glasgow Breakthrough on Steel brings together 30% of global steel producers, committing to make near-zero emission steel ‘the preferred choice in global markets’ through policy and standards alignment and coordinating public investments and mobilising private finance, particularly for developing nations. Excellent.

DFIs are recognising the need to ensure ‘resiliency of investments and resiliency through investments’ (Amal-Lee Amin, Climate Change Director, CDC). Dr Nicola Granger of the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment called for the alignment of financial flows with climate-resilient development, citing investor demand for resilience bonds as evidence that increased transparency of investments’ resilience will increase investment flows to adaptation and resilience.

The importance of climate finance for developing countries is being increasingly stressed ahead of Finance Day on Wednesday, with the first high-level segment seeing Palau’s President Surangel Whipps Jr demand leaders increase their annual commitments, imploring “Leaders of the G20, we are drowning and our only hope is the life-ring you are holding. You must act now, we must act together.”

On Sunday, Prince Charles urged governments at the G20 to work with the private sector to mobilise the investment required to meet 1.5 degrees. Yep.

More bulletins to come.