Category: Green Finance

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: 

EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Stakes for a constructive balance of power

By Philippe Coste, Pierre-Noël Giraud, Stéphane Gompertz, Henri de Grossouvre, Fatima Hadj, Brice Lalonde, François Loos, François Quentin, Joël Ruet, Raphaël Schoentgen, Alex Wang, avec Clarisse Comte et Claire Thomas.

After seven years of negotiations, the European Union and China reached an investment agreement on December 30, 2020. While Beijing sees in it the promotion of a “high degree of openness”, the EU aspires through this treaty to establish the long sought after “equality of market conditions”.

To carry out this project, a balance between the strategic interests of each side and common objectives on which to agree remains to be found… just as it remains to find avenues for concrete action.

Find the analysis note in French :2021-03-Issue-Brief-UE-CHINETélécharger

• This treaty provides for the intensification of economic and trade relations between the EU and China. It guarantees EU investors greater access to China and also helps to create more balanced conditions of competition.

• Areas of collaboration are proposed here, in various fileds : political (place of China in international organizations, global governance), legal (international standards, ESG), industrial (mobility, decarbonisation, role of SMEs), economic, environmental, scientific , technological (energy transition, carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, new energies), financial (coordinated introduction of carbon prices) and cultural.

• For the EU, it is above all a matter of asserting its strategic interests in a coordinated manner with the member countries during the ratification process.

The long-term issues of technological sovereignty, of competition between blocs, all possible causes of “stop and go” in bilateral relations must be seriously dealt with.

Despite the identified obstacles, maintaining an open but precise dialogue between the EU and China is essential. The European Union must continue its transformation and ensure respect for its increase in diplomatic power both within the EU and in its relationship with China: beyond state-to-state relations, it is up to the EU in as a community to negotiate the terms of a new bilateral relationship with China. It is in this way that it will confirm its status as a “balancing power”.

China “Two Sessions” : the Bridge Tank co-organizes the Think Tank & Media Forum on Global Economic Development

A Forum on Global Economic Development on the occasion of the Two Sessions in Beijing

Together with its Chinese partners, the China International Publishing Group and the China Institute for Innovation & Development Strategy, as well as the Prospective & Innovation Foundation, the Bridge Tank co-organized on March 8 a hybrid Forum on the sidelines of the Two Sessions.

On this occasion, Joël Ruet spoke alongside Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of Commerce in China and vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Cai Jiming, deputy at the People’s National Assembly and director of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy, and Zhang Yuyan, member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister of France, opened this webinar alongside four Chinese vice-ministers and the deputy speaker of the House of Representative of Argentina. For almost three hours, representatives of more than ten countries, ranging from Russia to India, from Brazil to South Africa, explored new avenues of thoughts, in particular in favor of multilateral cooperation, global economic recovery supported by innovation and reform of global economic governance. The role of international think tanks in building platforms for dialogue was highlighted, and presented as an essential strength in building a community on a humanity scale.

Chinese media articles China Today, China.org, China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy covered this event in particular.

Opening of the Forum by Jean-Pierre Raffarin: against the temptation of isolationism, an international cooperation based on innovation

In his remarks, the former French Prime Minister said that sharing of experiences and mutual understanding were essential to achieve peaceful development, a common goal for all countries. As a global crisis exacerbates the need for a coordinated response to global challenges, he stressed the dangers of a temptation to unilateralism and protectionism. Emphasizing the role of innovation, he argued that each country should actively conduct international cooperation while safeguarding its own sovereignty. He mentioned in particular the fight against climate change, referring to the joint efforts of France and China, a strong signal in favor of a global consensus for green development.

From crisis to opportunity for renewal, according to Chinese speakers Wei Jianguo, Zhang Yuyan and Cai Jiming

Former vice-minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said China’s “dual circulation”, a pillar of the 14th Five-Year Plan launched at the same time, will bring new opportunities for global economic development. According to him, beyond the crisis it is going through, the world is entering a new era of globalization, where China must play a crucial role.

But experts have set it against a less optimistic scenario, warning of current systemic risks threatening the global economy, such as inflation, the symptoms of which – sharply rising commodity prices – are already visible. Inflation and climate change therefore emerged as two challenges of common interest to be tackled together.

Zhang Yuyan called for renewed international cooperation, which involves working together on the issue of global governance. Indeed, discussions remain to be conducted, and this responsibility falls to the great world powers, which must find the right balance between strategic autonomy and common interests.

Cai Jiming emphasized the importance of building a fair and sustainable world trading system, based on the notion of comparative interest in the international division of labor, firmly opposing isolationist tendencies that threaten the balance of world trade.

China’s commitment in Global Security and Sino-European Cooperation : Joël Ruet’s Intervention

Joël Ruet, chairman of the Bridge Tank, said China must adopt more multilateral ways to clarify its position in the security issue and create a stable external environment. Speakers also agreed on the idea that China should play a role commensurate with its economic weight in global governance.

He referred to the pre-investment Agreement concluded between China and the EU, symbol of the opportunities that can emerge from a crisis, while warning of two priorities that should not be overlooked. Indeed, he targeted two areas where Sino-European cooperation is fundamental : the environment, where the ambitious words of the heads of state must be implemented through acts in the perspective of the COP26, and industrial cooperation, that the European and Chinese industries and businesses see as very promising.

The take of The Bridge Tank on the 2021 Two Sessions – “Dual circulation”, high-quality development, disappointing environmental objectives…

 

The Two Sessions designates the two annual plenary meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. After a year of pandemic which had postponed this meeting in May 2020, the Chinese leaders were keen this year to launch it on March 5, as if to embody the exemplary resilience of the country and the regained normality of the regime’s institutions. Plus, it is marked by the launch of the 14th Five-Year Plan 2021-2025 and the 100 years anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Among the highlights of this event, Prime Minister Li Keqiang has set a growth target of 6% for 2021. This moderate figure shows that the priority will be less focused on an attractive GDP – the IMF is banking on an 8% recovery – than on stable growth in a context of uncertainty, and on three pillars: “reform, innovation, and high quality development”. Also, the budget allocated to research and development will increase by more than 7% per year over the next five years, to achieve breakthroughs in future technologies and allow China to gain strategic autonomy. Another priority of the regime is to upgrade the supply chain and to promote domestic consumption, especially in the automotive and household appliances sector.

In fact, both the Two Sessions and the 14th Five-Year Plan have as a common thread the development paradigm of “dual circulation”. This notion denotes a two-pronged development strategy that requires both internal and external market support to stimulate long-term consumption patterns. The domestic cycle is particularly emphasized while it is complemented by an international cycle, with foreign trade and investments abroad. This objective of betting on the huge Chinese domestic market is rooted in a desire to hedge against external shocks, in the context of rising diplomatic tensions and instability in the world economy.

Li Keqiang also stopped on the environmental issue: he called for the promotion of the greening of lifestyles and production. For example, one of the targets for 2021 is to achieve a rate of 70% for the use of clean energy for heating. The 14th Plan calls for China to reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP by 13.5% and CO2 emissions by 18%. Yet the experts say that the objectives mentioned do not represent a real acceleration to achieve the carbon neutrality expected in 2060, for lack of concrete means. For example, the Double Assembly as well as the 14th Five-Year Plan introduced the idea of ​​a “cap on CO2 emissions”, without actually setting one. While it is encouraging that a component dealing with climate change is for the first time adopted in a national-level plan, these initial environmental indications are therefore often perceived as ambiguous, even disappointing.

Minister Edmond Alphandéry exchanges with Bridge Tank experts about carbon pricing

Edmond Alphandéry, former French Minister of the Economy and Chairman of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing, gave a long explanation of his vision of the place and importance of carbon pricing in the ecological transition, and highlighted the decisiveness of this measure in order to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality, within the framework of the Paris agreement.

Carbon pricing: an essential tool for the ecological transition

Minister Alphandery began by reminding us of the scale of the challenge posed by global warming and the complexity of the issues at stake : given that we emit 40 billion tons of CO2 each year, he explained that if we reasonably assume that the price of a ton of CO2 should be set at around 100€ (according to the main evaluations), then a carbon pricing system would cost €4,000 billion each year, which amounts to Germany’s Gross National Product (GNP).

In this context, the former minister sees carbon pricing as central to the fight against global warming. His explanation is simple: when carbon has a price, all economic agents (households, companies, the State) are encouraged to reduce their emissions, or even to stop them or to find alternatives, in order to reduce their expenses.
The speaker specified that there are two solutions currently applicable and applied in order to put a price on carbon. The first is a carbon tax, which is simple and effective, but politically difficult to implement and whose adjustment is complex. The second is the introduction of a carbon market, where emission permits are issued according to the total volume of emissions desired. Permits are bought by market participants in proportion of what they emit, and their price is defined by supply and demand.
According to the chairman of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing, the tautological advantage of the carbon market is that it is a market, and that it therefore encourages innovation and the adoption of virtuous behaviour by agents in order to resell their permits (see the example of Tesla in the United States). However, it has the disadvantage of being characterised by a high volatility of carbon pricing.
It is this last reason that prompted the former minister to chair the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in order to promote among decision-makers a targeting of the price of carbon rather than volumes, as is currently the case. On the European carbon market, for example, he said that this would give stability to a carbon price that had collapsed during the subprime crisis, and also increase visibility.

Against the threat of climate change, China must adopt and extend carbon pricing

Edmond Alphandéry then spoke about the role of China, whose place he considered to be unavoidable regarding these issues. The country’s emissions are indeed higher than those of the United States and Europe combined. In this respect, he pointed out that the Chinese government is aware of the importance of the issues at stake and has already promoted a number of ecological transition measures. For instance, he stated that there is already a carbon pricing system in China, even if the price remains largely insufficient for now and is limited to the energy sector.
The former minister also stated that, in his view, there is a real Chinese will to carry out reforms. He particularly welcomed the initiatives and discussions that are taking place between various European and Chinese personalities, discussions in which he himself took part, in order to defend a convergence of the carbon prices of the two powers.
For Edmond Alphandéry, if such a reform was promoted, it would be no less than a revolution in the fight against global warming.

In conclusion, the panelist made a proposal to the Chinese authorities regarding their major strategic programme that is the BRI. As the government increases energy investments, especially aimed at thermal power plants, Edmond Alphandéry would consider it relevant and effective to introduce an internal carbon price in the companies and industries financed by Chinese funds. This would simulate a carbon price and thus encourage decarbonisation, while sending a strong message to the international community by underlining the importance that China attaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Edmond Alphandéry said he would be ready to support such an initiative immediately.

Alphandery was one of the main speakers at the Bridge Tank forum on EU-China cooperation post-Covid-19.
He participated in a panel moderated by Philippe Coste, former French ambassador, on greening investment in the European Union (EU) and China, and on the challenges of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The forum took place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris on 15 October 2020. Other speakers in this session were Pierre-Noël Giraud, Professor of Economics at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, Djellil Bouzidi, member of the Haute Autorité de la Statistique and of the Bridge Tank’s Board, and Song Luzheng from Fudan University.

5 years after the Paris Agreement: companies and levers for climate action in a world in crisis

The Society for Encouraging National Industry, founded in 1801 with the official support of Napoleon, organised a webinar entitled “5 years after the Paris Agreement: companies and levers for climate action in a world in crisis”. This event took place on the 16th of December 2020, for the COP21’s fifth anniversary.

During the plenary session, introduction speeches were made by Olivier Mousson, president of the Society for Encouraging National Industry, Sylvianne Villaudière, vice-president of the Society Jean-Pierre Cordier, president of the Society’s International Commission, and Joël Ruet. 

During his introduction of the “Finance and Climate, which leverage” panel, Joël Ruet argued that key factors in the success of the COP21 summit was the Moroccan commitment to convince African countries and the United Nations’ Group of 77 to sign the Paris Agreement. He highlighted the role of the support of Southern countries for this agreement, especially as it was supposed to support them in their ecological transition. Most of the investments that lead to global growth will soon mostly be directed at Southern countries, and we must ensure that these investments are sustainable and support agriculture, social measures and innovation (notably through technological know-how transfers). Financial products should be developed for middle-sized projects, as they already exist for small and large projects. Europe needs to follow and to be followed by the rest of the world if it wants to achieve its goal efficiently. It is also key that the European Union plays a role in the norms of the analysis of raw data. Southern countries must have access to the same kind of negative interest rates as the ones in the North to be able to develop fairly. 

Among the other keynote speakers were Bertrand Badré, former Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank, Emmanuel Mourey, President of the Banque Postale Asset Management’s board, Christian Brodhag, Lecturer at Les Mines School (Saint-Etienne) and former inter-ministerial delegate for Sustainable Development, Anne Girault, Professor of the ABC Association, and Monica de Virgiliis, president of Chapter Zero France.

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