Greening Finance

Filling Gaps in the Financial Ecosystem for Energy Access Requires Financing the Last Mile

Sub-Saharan Africa, a land of abundant energy resources and roughly 750 million people, is the least electrified region in the world. Two out of every three people there are in desperate need of reliable and affordable energy supply to power their homes and workplaces. Across the region, 60% of the population lives in rural areas and 22% of them have energy access; the region has an average household electrification rate of only 42%. Achieving universal energy access is thus a critical step in unleashing Africa’s human development and economic growth potential. It will increase productivity through improved living and working [...]

2018-12-13T10:03:32-05:00December 13th, 2018|Greening Finance, International Climate Finance|

The Global Cooling Prize and Montreal Protocol take Steps to Unlock the Potential of Cooling Efficiency

On Friday, November 22, the U.S. government released volume two of the fourth National Climate Assessment, which underscores staggering climate damages to the country that loom in the near future. NCA4 also calculates that aggressive risk mitigation actions can avoid $500 billion in adverse effects annually by 2090 in the United States alone. In addition to well-known emissions-reduction options in energy, transportation, buildings, manufacturing, and land use,   comfort cooling – i.e., air conditioning – is one of the largest emissions reductions opportunities worldwide: Making air conditioning and refrigeration more efficient could alone reduce annual reduce emissions up to 994 million [...]

2018-11-24T21:07:25-05:00November 24th, 2018|Greening Finance|

Science has given the Financial Sector a Clear Horizon to Act on Climate Change

From a financial perspective, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, issued on Monday by the UN, should raise alarm bells.  The IPCC report – which reflects the consensus of ninety-one scientists from 40 countries and drawn from more than 6,000 studies – has very clearly laid out our collective time horizon:  we may have as little as 12 years before we are fully locked in to the impacts of at least 1.5°C warming, which could be reached as early as 2040 and appears increasingly certain to bring devastating consequences.  Under these circumstances, the range of damages to be [...]

2018-12-12T16:05:01-05:00October 13th, 2018|Climate Risk, Greening Finance|

Is Your Project Still “Bankable” if It Isn’t Climate Resilient?

The Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures issued its final report last week after looking at the issue of climate risk in the financial system.  Comprised of private sector finance and industry leaders, the Task Force recommends that companies and financial institutions of all types adopt common climate-related financial disclosure practices as a way to support informed and efficient capital allocation decisions.  Disclosure of climate-related risks falls primarily into two categories: first, the risks arising from the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy and the possible shocks that might occur from moving out of fossil-based energy systems and into [...]

2017-07-05T13:26:54-04:00July 5th, 2017|Greening Finance|

Good Project Preparation Maximizes Financial Viability/Bankability

By Stacy Swann and Brandon Yeh The differences between financing large scale energy infrastructure and small- or medium sized energy projects cannot be overstated. And yet, in many parts of the world, access to basic and modern energy services – including lighting and cooking – is provided specifically through smaller projects, and not through large scale energy infrastructure, which can take years to finance and develop. We know energy access is a critical component to development, including the ability to move out of poverty, and as of 2016, an estimated 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity and [...]

2017-03-22T13:11:46-04:00March 17th, 2017|Greening Finance|

When New Highs and New Lows Are No Good

Chris Mooney published yet another article on climate change in the Washington Post last week, this time about the dramatically low level of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.  The same day, Angela Fritz had an article on how atmospheric carbon dioxide had reached a “huge record high.”  As Mooney reported, Arctic sea ice covered just 4.63 million square miles at its maximum extent for the year in May, a new low in the satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  At the same time, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged 407.7 parts [...]

2016-11-18T17:52:29-05:00June 14th, 2016|Greening Finance|

Time to Pick Up the Pace: Climate Change, Risk, Resilience

The world is warming. About that there is no doubt. 2015 was a hot year – the hottest on record. The first two months of 2016 continued to shatter temperature records. In February, we crossed the 1.5°C threshold, meaning average global temperatures that month passed what many governments say should be the limit, that of a world 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also just reported the largest 12-month jump in carbon dioxide concentrations ever, with global concentrations rising by 3.76 parts per million (ppm) to 404 ppm. “Carbon dioxide concentrations haven’t been [...]

Green Banks, Greening Banks and the Sustainable Financial System

By Andrea Colnes and Stacy Swann - Coalition for Green Capital & Climate Finance Advisors   We are in the second week of the UN Climate Summit in Paris, and while we wait for the negotiators to finish their hard work, private sector and finance continue to show they are ready and prepared to increase their efforts and do their part to address climate change. Just this weekend, major businesses stepped up their pledges to do more to address climate change, including Unilever, L’Oreal, Virgin Atlantic and Harley Davidson, among others. All very good news. Yesterday, two new climate finance [...]

On the Road to “Greening” Finance

There is a transformation afoot. Perhaps it is due to the momentum building around the upcoming Paris climate negotiations, or to the extreme weather felt in many parts of the world. Or perhaps it is a function of new actors stepping into the climate change debate, such as insurers and ratings agencies, who are beginning to make tangible links between risks, returns, and climate change. No matter the reason, the financial community is beginning to think about climate change for both the investment opportunities it presents and the risks to portfolios that may result, both from increasing climate-related events and [...]

2016-11-18T17:52:29-05:00November 9th, 2015|Greening Finance|
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