Category: Green Finance

COP 27: Advances on loss and damage but no breakthrough on climate finance despite a strong West African involvement

The fear of ending COP 27 without any significant advances was looming over Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in the dying hours of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.

But after a final negotiations marathon between the parties, a deal was eventually struck.

The agreement which concluded two weeks of discussions and negotiations in the Egyptian coastal city offered an important step forward in the contentious question of loss and damage. Parties agreed to establish a loss and damage fund which will help support those countries most impacted by climate change. The fund will provide financial relief to respond to the catastrophic effects of the environmental crisis, like droughts, heatwaves, floods, or cyclones.

Efforts Remain Insufficient

While encouraging as a signal of international solidarity in response to environmental catastrophes, the final agreement fell short of many COP 27 participants’ expectations and hopes. In an interview for TV5 Monde, Hakima El Haite, board member of The Bridge Tank, expressed her disappointment  with the lack of advances at COP 27:

“It is true that we have taken a step forward by agreeing on the creation of a mechanism that will still require time. The more we mitigate CO2 emissions and the more we reduce CO2 concentrations, the less we will need to adapt and the less money we will need to repair the damages caused by natural disasters. And so we have to act and it’s not up to the vulnerable countries to act, it’s the emitting countries that emit 80% of the emissions that have to provide 80% of the solutions in their own countries.”

This opinion was shared by many, particularly in the Global South and West Africa, a region which faces some of the most dire effects of climate change and which had come with strong demands and expectations to COP 27, the African COP.

A Strong and Proactive West African Presence at COP 27

Representatives from West African countries had arrived at COP 27 with the hope of seeing strong decisions being made to relieve the environmental pressure affecting the continent. Before the beginning of COP 27, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had shared some of the points it considered crucial to successful climate change negotiations:

  • Increasing the ambition of greenhouse gas emission reduction, specifically for the biggest emitters
  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement with regard to generating new financing opportunities in the region and defining the new carbon market mechanisms
  • Adaptation: moving from planning to operationalizing
  • Loss and damage: providing concrete responses to the existing loss and damage in West Africa
  • Climate finance: meeting the 100-billion-dollar target of the Green Climate Fund and establishing a financial facility specifically dedicated to African countries to focus on their needs and priorities in terms of adaptation.

Intent on making the sub-region’s voice heard at COP 27, West African institutions joined forces in Sharm el-Sheikh at the West Africa Pavilion. This pavilion was co-piloted by ECOWAS and the West African Development Bank (WADB), in partnership with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

“The pavilion expresses the willingness of regional institutions to strengthen their cooperation around the common challenge of climate change. The approach aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the collective response for the benefit of the region’s populations,” ECOWAS communicated prior to the conference.

For two weeks, the four West African institutions thus contributed to moving public debate on climate action and climate finance forward.

Leading voices on climate governance and climate finance

The ECOWAS Commission made use of its presence at the West Africa Pavilion to organize side events introducing the union’s Regional Climate Strategy. These included a session on November 9th on coordination mechanisms for greater regional climate governance and another one on November 11th on the sectoral opportunities the strategy offers for agriculture and energy.

The West African Development Bank (WADB) was also very active on the Pavilion. On November 9th, Serge Ekué, President of the WADB, gave a press briefing on the WADB’s climate positioning. This was an opportunity to discuss the WADB’s Djoliba 2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan, which allocates 25% of the bank’s total commitments to climate finance in order to support member states in the financing of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Through its president, the WADB expressed its wish to be a catalyser of resilience and adaptation to climate change and a facilitator of sustainable and stable growth.

Capitalizing on the centrality of climate finance at this year’s climate change conference, the WADB organised a number of events on the matter, including a panel on “Challenges and opportunities of climate finance in Africa,” and two sessions on November 14th, “Filling the Gaps in Climate Change Adaptation Policies to Facilitate Access to Climate Finance for WAEMU Countries” and “Carbon finance as a lever of development for WAEMU countries,” with the participation of the West African Alliance On Carbon Market and Climate Finance.

The WADB also took part in side-events organised by other institutions in Sharm el Sheikh, including one by the Green Climate Fund on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel.

This importance of climate finance on this year’s agenda at COP 27 also mobilised The Bridge Tank, which co-organised a side event with Liberal International on North-South dynamics in climate finance. The panel discussion “Towards a balanced, empowered, North-South blended climate finance for mitigation and adaptation” included prominent figures and institutions from West Africa and provided an additional building bloc to the pursuit of a more effective and balanced climate finance.

Despite these many efforts and calls for bold measures, COP 27’s final agreement comes as a disappointing conclusion to two weeks of active involvement on the ground from West African institutions and countries. The wish to make COP 27, the African COP, an important milestone in the fight against climate change and the establishment of climate finance mechanisms ensuring the continent’s preservation has been left unfulfilled, to the frustration of many.

COP 27: From Distrust to Trust: Towards a balanced, empowered North-South blended climate finance for mitigation and adaptation

As COP 27 slowly draws to a close, The Bridge Tank continues its efforts in favour of climate justice in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

On Thursday, November 17th, 2022, The Bridge Tank and Liberal International joined forces to organise a side event on climate finance – “Towards a balanced, empowered, North-South blended climate finance for mitigation and adaptation.” The Bridge Tank was represented by Dr. Joel Ruet, President, and our board member Dr. Hakima ElHaite, President of Liberal International.

The Bridge Tank made use of its long experience on the topic of climate finance, having contributed to the Task Force on “Climate change and finance” of the T20 for the past 6 years.

Participants to the panel included Ms. Kadiatou N’Diaye, former Minister of the Environment, Water, and Forest of Guinea, representatives of the Brazzaville Foundation, directors of the Agricultural Bank of Niger, and the President of the Egyptian conservative party.

The panel discussion addressed the current state of climate finance and adaptation finance. While a doubling of efforts for the latter was included in the Glasgow Climate Pact, bringing adaptation finance from around USD 20 billion to USD 40 billion, many challenges remain, as some of the wealthiest countries are not keeping their side of the bargain.

The President of the Congo Basin Blue Fund thus left COP 27 to denounce this lack of financial support. In 2021, US President Joe Biden pledged USD 50 million to the Adaptation Fund but the contribution never materialised. This year, Biden increased the United States’ promise to USD 100 million. The example of the Congo Basin is emblematic of the gap between institutional promises and the actual reality on the ground.

Today’s USD 82 billion in climate finance for the Global South are 60% of private loans. Despite facing the most dire effects of the current environmental crisis, the African continent only receives 5% of these funds. This shows “neither a form of obligation nor of solidarity”, claimed Hakima el Haite. The political consensus in the Global South is therefore that funds are lacking, which is all the more alarming when considering the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) forecast that only 8 years are left before the situation becomes critical.

Having established that, the panel discussed concrete ways of adapting financial tools to make for a more efficient and balanced climate finance. Some of the main challenges raised here were the difficulties of accreditation for the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund. Mobilising necessary funds was likened to an uphill battle. While being indeed accessible, the mobilisation of sums around USD 10 million is slowed down by protracted procedures. The challenge is even greater for scale up projects with funding needs in the hundreds of millions USD.

The panel thus sought to find innovative funding sources and efficient disbursement channels.

Profit sharing agreements could be one possibility. These would require national frameworks for private contracts establishing profit sharing agreements where private and public funding would be poured into a common public fund dedicated to concrete projects. This procedure is for example already used by oil companies.

Despite only being a parallel mechanism, carbon credits could also include a direct transfer to public assistance beneficiaries.

Discussions on alternative financing seem to have abandoned the idea of taxation of the Global North since COP21-22. Solidarity is therefore not an appropriate description of the current financial processes. With 80% of African oil production being operated by foreign companies, the USD 100-billion climate finance pledge should be defined as a debt the North owes the South. But the current climate finance’s reliance on loans has the opposite effect, creating additional South to North debt.

Other ideas are centred around a renewed system of governance. The lack of bankability, transparency and competence associated with the Global South reflects the North’s lack of confidence in the South. While challenges to co-management and co-financing are also partly found in a mismanagement of African resources and wealth, which impedes its ability to effectively finance adaptation and mitigation itself, new mechanisms must be developed to turn this North-South defiance into mutual confidence.

Establishing incubators working towards large-scale structuring projects could be one way of achieving this. Working on co-management and co-governance is thus an encouraging prospect, as it is already well established within other structures, e.g. business angels or investment funds.

Another key point discussed on the panel was the idea of reversing conditionalities and for Africa to have the power to impose conditionalities. These could for example include the requirement for funders to be present on the ground and thereby encourage the emergence of local research departments and local development companies. One main challenge is therefore for both states and international funders to support the emergence of African and sub-regional multinational companies.

The issues of human resources and insufficient administrative capacity building in the South must also be connected to the complexity of international procedures. Encouraging signs can be found in the successful examples of the Micro Finance Program of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which facilitates administrative procedures.

Finally, questions of innovative bottom-up finance provided another key talking point to the panel. To ensure complex assets have simpler assets as securities, a pan-African fund of security and risk mitigation would be needed.

The question of land guarantees also needs careful attention in order to develop a system which would aim, for example, for projects to be funded at 95% through grants and 5% coming from the community or guaranteed by private banks. The question remains whether these would be accepted by bilateral agencies.

Nevertheless, commercial banks, as the example of Niger shows, are ready to go ahead with such projects because of the emergency to take action. Every year Niger loses 100,000 ha to desertification, making the need for funding all the more pressing.

The Bridge Tank continues its involvement on hydrogen at COP 27 through a high-level panel on African Green Hydrogen Hubs

The Bridge Tank’s continued engagement on questions of hydrogen has put it at the forefront of public debate on the matter. Over the years, this has resulted in a number of publications on hydrogen (our report & our policy brief), and led to The Bridge Tank being the only think tank invited to the launch of the Hydrogen Council in Davos, in 2017.

This active involvement and expertise on hydrogen was once again put to use during this second week of COP 27 in Egypt.

The Bridge Tank, represented by Dr. Joel Ruet, President, and Dr. Hakima el Haite, board member, took part in a high level panel discussion co-organised by the International Solar Alliance and Liberal International on “Energy, Green Hydrogen in Africa; Perspectives for Solutions” in Sharm el Sheikh, on November 15th, 2022.

The meeting brought together prominent leaders from the political sphere to establish strategies for the African continent to sustainably harness its existing resources and meet its growing energy demand, while following a sustainable path to a net-zero future and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. This energy demand is a necessary component of the continent’s economic development and offers a way to lift many of its citizens out of poverty.

Participants to this high-level panel discussion included representatives from various government organizations, private sector actors, political figures, and members of the French and American press. Among these were the CEO of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, advisor to the President of Namibia, a representative of the Minister of Energy of Mauritania, a representative of the National Agency for Renewable Energies of Senegal, and the Vice-President of the Energy Commission of the Parliament of Portugal.

Further participants included the Secretary General of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), the Director General of Energies 2050, and various members of Liberal International and investment representatives.

 

The discussions built on a presentation provided by the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which offered insights into a study on the possible development of green hydrogen hubs in Africa by 2030-2035. Financed by the European Investment Bank and supported by Liberal International, this study was conducted by the ISA, an organisation of about 120 nations launched in 2015 by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, and Francois Hollande, Former President of France.

The study provides an innovative approach to green hydrogen production and hydrogen export perspectives for African countries, defining the creation of a local market as a necessary prerequisite for a stable long-term export strategy. This local hydrogen market would rely on a local industrial demand from “hard-to-abate” sectors (e.g. for the steel industry, ammonia production, energy, or mining), for which decarbonation is of intrinsic value.

Green hydrogen would be produced through water electrolysis making use of solar energy. With water being a rare commodity in the region, the strategy plans to make use of desalinated sea water. Production sites would therefore be near the sea and create local hydrogen ecosystems with industrial sites.

The energy needed for desalination would be covered by the produced green hydrogen, making for a cost- and energy-efficient production method. It would also be possible to desalinate more water than is needed for hydrogen production. This water could then be used for irrigation or be directly incorporated in urban water supplies, alleviating water stress on the African continent.

This plan is no mere abstraction but presents concrete and proven opportunities, as 14 such plants are currently being developed by HyDeal in Spain and Portugal.

Exporting hydrogen to Europe would thus only be a factor of interest at a later stage, after the establishment of a resilient and effective hydrogen ecosystem at the local level.

While many national strategies and studies focus on Africa’s potential as a producer and exporter of green hydrogen to Europe, this study provides the missing link to the establishment of such a production. It offers a way to secure and stabilise early local production through the creation of a domestic market. The potential of hydrogen would thus firstly be harvested for domestic consumption and industrial use within African countries before being used for exports.

In addition to that, this approach would create efficient and stable hydrogen ecosystems, relying on greater acceptance by the local population and industrial actors. This in turns provides national green hydrogen export programs with increased stability, granting them a strategic autonomy which would free them from a dependency of the international market, price variations, or uncertainty surrounding electrolyser technologies.

On the European side, this strategy would also allow economic hedging and greater scale-up efficiency.

The study offers a detailed and methodologically comparable assessment of possible hydrogen hubs in Africa. While it was primarily conducted in Egypt, Namibia, and Mauritania, the study’s conclusions can be replicated and expanded to other countries on the continent.

 

An eventful first week at COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh for our board member Hakima El Haite

The first week of the COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh saw the world gather in the Egyptian coastal city to exchange on the many pressing issues of the world’s environmental crisis. One of those leaders taking part in the discussions and the seeking out of concrete solutions to combat climate change in Sharm el Sheikh is The Bridge Tank’s board member, Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International.

Through her frontline presence at COP 27, Hakima El Haite not only underlined the danger of putting climate action on the back burner in the current times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, she took a strong stance in favour of climate justice.

During an event organised by The New York Times “On the Verge of Progress: Where Will COP 27 Take Us?” on November 8th, with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, and Laurence Tubiana, France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21 and founder of IDDRI, Hakima El Haite stressed the urgency of climate action and reaching net-zero emissions. She did so while pointing out the increase of global subsidies for fossil fuels and the rebound of CO2 emissions worldwide. The need for increased funding to fulfil the $100 billion pledge by the wealthiest nations, the goal of $40 billion dedicated to adaptation finance, and the importance of greening the financial sector were also addressed during this event.

The transition to cleaner energy sources and the potential offered by green hydrogen were additional topics on the agenda of this first week of COP 27. Hakima El Haite took part in the launch event of the “Africa Extraordinary Green Hydrogen Potential” study with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Solar Alliance, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, and the Government of the Republic of Mauritania. The report “combines an analysis of investment opportunities with a roadmap of technical, economic, environmental and financial solutions to unlock commercial development” of green hydrogen in Africa, so EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle.

Our board member Hakima El Haite’s commitment to climate justice came once again to the fore at COP 27, as she put special emphasis on the necessity of tackling the environmental crisis in those countries and regions which have been disproportionately affected by climate change or which are least prepared to face its effects.

Her continued efforts in favour of the African continent were also at the heart of her interventions at this year’s climate change conference. The continent, home to 17% of the world’s population and responsible for less than 4% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is facing the most dire effects of the unfolding environmental crisis.

Through her participation in the release of the Institute for Economics and Peace’s “Ecological Threat Report 2022,” Dr. El Haite called for concerted international efforts to effectively face the climate crisis and for greater solidarity and concrete actions on the side of developed countries to support developing countries. She especially emphasized the urgency of investing massively in adaptation and mitigation in Africa. According to the “Ecological Threat Report 2022,” two thirds of the hotspot countries facing catastrophic ecological threat, water stress, and food insecurity are found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, Hakima El Haite used her presence at COP 27 to defend another key aspect of climate justice, namely the role and voices of women in the efforts to combat climate change. With the climate crisis affecting women to a greater extent than men, working to include and promote women’s voices has been a cause central to Dr. El Haite’s efforts in Sharm el Sheikh.

Side event “From COP 26 Glasgow Commitments to COP 27 Egypt Opportunities: The MENA perspective Confirmation”: participation of our Board Members

On the occasion of the first edition of the UNFCCC MENA Climate Week, from 28th – 31st of March, hosted by the Government of United Arab Emirates, Liberal International, of which The Bridge Tank is a member has organized a virtual side event on 29th of March named: From COP 26 commitments to COP 27 opportunities: The MENA perspective.

The purpose of this event is to tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from the shared commitment that was agreed at COP 26 in Glasgow, while looking ahead at COP 27 Egypt as an opportunity to increase ambitions. Moderated by the President of the Liberal International, UN High-level climate champion and our Board Member, Hakima El Haite asked a series of questions to each of the speakers.

Among them, our Board Member, Stéphane Gompertz was present in his capacity as former French Ambassador in African countries and Special Envoy for COP 21. He was first asked to give his perspective for the COP 27.

His vision for the next Conference of the Parties reflects the difficulties of raising the climate ambition and maintaining efforts in a context of tensions (COVID-19, War between Ukraine and Russia and War in Yemen). The different crises and current wars shift the priorities of the states and public spending. Money is spent more on wars than for climate action. The political ambitions aren’t now and won’t be as high as it was during the COP 21 and the COP 22. The COP 27, will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, will have the difficult task of pushing the Parties’ effort to:

  • Help to pursuit government and public opinion to have a look in the future.
  • Push for solutions.
  • Continue to promote good practices in the field of adaptation.

Stéphane Gompertz then explained what should be done to keep the 1.5°C? He said that we have to look ahead. States act in the short and long term. Energy is a good example. In a short term basis, countries will use more fossil fuel. In a long term basis, we will see the positive effect on energy policy. For instance, France undertakes nuclear, without it, it won’t be enough effort to commit climate targets. However, the question of nuclear power is again debated in France in this electoral and the War between Ukraine and Russia context. But it is important to measure the risks over time: living with temperatures above 2-3°C or living with an energy mode low in CO2 emissions.

Mrs. Susana Rivero Baughman, who is the Foreign affairs and Cooperation Adviser at the Secretary of Climate Action, Government of Catalonia gave a short presentation of International Liberal’s action to Climate Justice Committee, which has recently adopted a policy paper “Liberal Perspectives on Climate Justice”. Mrs Baughman expressed the lack of actions between climate change and human rights and this is what the International Liberal is willing to do by developing a Policy Lab and strengthening their presence in COPs and international forums. She finally highlighted that the COP 27 will offer plenty of opportunities for Africa.

Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, who is Former Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway, developed an evaluation form the COP26’s achievements. For Mr. Rotevatn the COP 26 was a success for 3 reasons:

  • Finish the Rule Book of the Paris Agreement, which constitutes a common framework among Parties.
  • Increase ambition. Bigger emitting countries increase their ambitions, most countries raise their ambitions in NCDs, the USA are back in the Paris Agreement and we keep the 1.5°C objective alive.
  • Sufficient commitment to increase finance: developing world can have confidence from the financing mechanisms. Industrial countries promise to double their climate finance. Pledges were made and it was well received from most developing countries.

He then explained that after 2 years of global pandemic, we have not lost the long term aspect of the climate crises. He then emphasized that Norway is one of the leading financiers and that the country will double its efforts in climate finance, notably for the preservation of tropical rainforest and mitigation and adaptation. He finally said that pollution tax is a necessary tool for a fair transition and support climate transition at country level, whereas at the global level, climate finance is a necessary tool.

Mrs Rania Al-Mashat, who is the Minister for International Cooperation of Egypt explained what will be the objectives and opportunities for the COP 27 in three messages:

  • The COP 27 is going to be impartial, even though this COP is organized in Africa.
  • Adaptation & resilience will be central and was one of the main outcomes from COP26.
  • Commitment to actions.

Mrs. Al-Mashat emphasized the outcomes from Glasgow, asking open questions that will need to be answered at COP 27.The private sector’s role need to be increased: “We are going from billions to trillions”. It is also important to think about how can we operationalize what it have been pledge. How to derisk green investments? How can we create opportunities for the blended finance? There is not enough operationalize projects financed. How can we leverage from successful countries and to replicate them?

Special Report – Moving ahead of COP26 & COP15: finance & coalitions for hydrogen & the blue economy

In the context of international negotiations on climate and biodiversity (COP26 and COP15), The Bridge Tank has developed analyses on global priority topics, these international conferences of which are considered as some of the most urgent.

This report aims to contribute to the global and diplomatic discussion on climate change and biodiversity challenges. Through deep academic and scientific review, we designed method, foresight, and recommended solutions, divided into 4 chapters. The first two chapters put forward positions, structuring and global elements on adaptation, finance and governance while forcing action at different scales. The second two chapters develop scientific, industrial and technical theories on operational subjects.

The first chapter addresses the ADAPTATION FINANCE mechanisms with a specific focus on blended finance as an efficient tool to finance emerging economies. Our analyses allow us to identify various tools for scaling up climate action.

The second chapter deals with the innovative approach of COALITION into the climate change negotiations toward bottom up and regional coalition by involving non state-actors.

The third chapter focuses on the place HYDROGEN can take in the energy transition as an upcoming energy vector. It underlines the specific economic and political dynamics that characterize the hydrogen ecosystems and puts forward possible bottlenecks that could impede its effective scale up for industry uses in the coming years.

The last chapter explores the need to work towards a transition to a BLUE ECONOMY in coastal territories worldwide and more specifically in the Indo-Pacific. This chapter highlights the fact that the ocean industrialization needs to be limited and coastal ecosystem and blue economy value chain should be better integrated.

 

Edited by: Malaurie Le Bail and Joël Ruet

Contributors: Baudouin Becker, Clarisse Comte, Florian Dommergues and Malaurie Le Bail

Proofreading and graphic design: Jacqueline Duan

Read here our report: Final report_climate change and biodiversity_TBT_Nov21

COP26 side event – Liberal International’s Declaration for Climate

8 November 2021, The Bridge Tank, an Observing Member to Liberal International participated to an online roundtable event on the fringes of COP26, hosted by ALDE Party and Liberal International.  Liberal policymakers and representatives from partner organizations congregated to share their views and exchange information on the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change. The event was chaired by ALDE Party acting co-President Timmy Dooley and President of Liberal International Hakima El Haité.

The participants discussed the role of liberals when it comes to influencing the sustainability agenda in the next years, with a particular look at the first week of negotiations and an eye towards the second and final round of negotiations. Moreover, they also stressed the importance of the liberal voice, including younger generations, when it comes to building back better from the pandemic and generating jobs and growth as well as for the respect of rule of law across the globe.

At the end of the roundtable, the participants adopted a pledge calling on states to increase their climate ambitions. In this pledge, the participants called for stronger international cooperation to raise climate commitments and implement them, called on states to submit more ambitious NDCs, and urged for more technical and financial support to be granted to developing states to improve their capacity to take climate action. 

“Protection of global biodiversity is also essential to combat environmental degradation and climate change. Our planet is currently facing its sixth mass extinction as a consequence of human activity, and it is disrupting ecosystems around the world, threatening our food production, and increasing risks of pandemics. We must take bold and rapid action now to change this, and therefore call on states to include biodiversity protection as a central part in their climate action plans.

The time for talk is now over – the only option left is action.”

Read the full pledge on Liberal International’s website.

The Bridge Tank partipates to the COP26 side event hosted by ALDE Party and Liberal International

8 November 2021, The Bridge Tank participated to an online roundtable event on the fringes of COP26, hosted by ALDE Party and Liberal International.  Liberal policymakers and representatives from partner organisations gathered together to share their views and exchange information on the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change to align common aims. The event was chaired by ALDE Party acting co-President Timmy Dooley and President of Liberal International Hakima El Haité.

The participants discussed the role of liberals when it comes to influencing the sustainability agenda in the next years, with a particular look at the first week of negotiations and an eye towards the second and final round of negotiations. Moreover, they also stressed the importance of the liberal voice, including younger generations, when it comes to building back better from the pandemic and generating jobs and growth as well as for the respect of rule of law across the globe.

At the end of the roundtable, the participants adopted a liberal pledge calling on states to increase their climate ambitions. In this pledge, the participants called for stronger international cooperation to raise climate commitments and implement them, called on states to submit more ambitious NDCs, and urged for more technical and financial support to be granted to developing states to improve their capacity to take climate action. 

“Protection of global biodiversity is also essential to combat environmental degradation and climate change. Our planet is currently facing its sixth mass extinction as a consequence of human activity, and it is disrupting ecosystems around the world, threatening our food production, and increasing risks of pandemics. We must take bold and rapid action now to change this, and therefore call on states to include biodiversity protection as a central part in their climate action plans.

The time for talk is now over – the only option left is action.”

Read the full pledge here on Liberal International’s website. 

The Bridge Tank participates the 2021 edition of the Summit of Minds

The 2021 edition of the Summit of Minds forum took place at Chamonix, from the 17 – 19th of September. This year, the Summit was focused on two main ideas: key macro issues and wellness and wellbeing, with a particular spotlight on natural capital (nature as a productive asset). In a context where the climate crisis is becoming a more and more central concern initiating many high-level discussions, the Summit of Minds gathered prominent political, economic, scientific, cultural, and business figures from all over the world, including the Armenian president Armen Sarkissian, to debate these key topics.

The Bridge Tank’s president, Joël Ruet, intervened on the panel: ‘Energy Transition (2) – How to Invest in it? dedicated to the current trend of transition towards net zero carbon emissions, its subsequent opportunities, and risks for businesses. Led by Nik Gowing, Managing Partner of Thinking the Unthinkable, UK, the discussion was structured around three essential questions: 

  1. Where is the ‘smart’ money going?
  2. Is the current ESG excitement sustainable?
  3. What assets run the risk of becoming stranded?

During his intervention, Joël Ruet elaborated on the evolution fo classes of assets for energy transition finance, highlighting the diverse risk factors involved, from profitability dispersion to a lack of cohesion in some national transitions, going through unstabilised hydrogen ecosystems across the world. Joël Ruet also highlighted the importance of differentiating megatrends from mega-ambition, stating that there is no one-size-fits-all energy which could alone resolve current climate issues.

Other panelists included: Martin Fraenkel, Vice Chairman of S&P Global, UK, Eoin Murray, Head of Investments of Federated Hermes International, UK, Franklin Servan-Shreiber, Co-Founder & Chairman of Transmutex, Switzerland, with the special appearance of Mafalda Duarte, CEO of Climate Investment Funds, USA.

Our board member, Pranjal Sharma, was also present during the Summit. He intervened on two panels: ‘AI & Democracy – Do We Have Anything to Fear?’ and ‘Tech – How Far Will Innovation Go?’

During the forum, Joël Ruet also notably exchanged with Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Energy Transitions Commission, UK on how the COP26 could transform systems of negotiation for future COPS to come, instigating climate change action within the public finance sectors at regional, national and international levels.

Watch the sessions on our youtube channel: 

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