Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Green Climate Fund for Development

Greetings from the Australian national University in Canberra, where Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund is speaking on "The Green Climate Fund, climate finance, and the imperatives and pathways for global transformation". He started by pointing out the developed nations committed to "mobilize" $100B a year for developing nations actions on climate change by 2020. What "mobilize" means I am not sure. The DFAT "Roadmap to US$100 Billion" (2016) says "effectively mobilize private finance".
reetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where

Ambassador Bamsey pointed out that the cost of PV solar power had dropped making it economic for use in developing nations. Also he pointed out that green bonds had taken off and the link to Islamic Finance. In 2008 I attended the Malaysian Corporate Governance Conference at the Securities Commission, Kuala Lumpur, the regulator for Islamic capital markets in Malaysia and noticed this link.

The IEA has a "Tracking Clean Energy Progress" page, which Ambassador Bamsey pointed to. He used the example of technology incubators as one initiative (but I am not sure who's or for what). He suggested that most investments are on mitigation and more is needed on adaption for the most vulnerable.

Ambassador Bamsey suggested that China has taken an engineering approach to climate change as the government is full of engineers (whereas the Australian Government is full of lawyers and economists).

This all seemed very general, so I asked for examples of investments and how much carbon emission, or other benefits resulted. This was perhaps because I spent the morning marking ICT Sustainability assignments from my students, where they had to say what improvement their proposals were expected to make.

Unfortunately while promising to get specific, Ambassador Bamsey would not say how much the Green Climate Fund had invested or how much mitigation and adaption this was expected to produce. Not everything can be reduced to a few numbers, but if the world is investing $100B a year, then it would be good to have some idea it was effectively spent. Also worrying is that fund is expected to run out money to invest by the end of the year. Interestingly the ACT Government is working on channeling private investment to the fund, however as a potential investor I would want to know what environmental and social return on investment I will get.

The current Ambassador for the Environment, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Patrick Suckling, spoke next. He pointed to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as a successful investment activity.  Ambassador Suckling then talked about having an investment bank rather than aid. I assume this was a metaphor, not the Australian government was going to have a bank to invest in development programs in the region and earn a return on investment.

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