Category: Green Finance

T20 handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy

The T20 presidency handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy took place on the 30th of November 2020. The Argentinian, Japanese and Saudi chairs of the former presidencies attended this important event, to highlight the continuity of the works and research of the T20. The Bridge Tank has been a member of the T20 since 2016, and will participate to the Italian presidency’s works in 2021.

On the occasion of this handover, a debate was organised on themes such as the lesson from the past presidencies, the challenges and priorities for the Italian presidency, and the coming challenges for multilateralism. Among the keynote speakers of this debate were Pietro Benaéssi, Sherpa of the G20 for Italy, Fahad M. Alturki, Chair of the T20 for Saudi Arabia, Paolo Magri, Chair of the T20 for Italy, Julia Pomares and Gustavo Martinez, chairs of the T20 for Argentina, Naoyuki Yoshino, chair of the T20 for Japan, and Ettore Greco and Antonio Villafranca, coordinators of the T20 for Italy. This debate was chaired by James McGann, Director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.

2020 Horasis Asia Meeting

During the annual Horasis Asia Meeting, which gathered 400 of the regions and the world’s most senior leaders from business and government, the speakers exchanged about the overcoming of the profound economic, political and social disruptions caused by COVID-19. This event took place on the 30th of November 2020.

Joël Ruet moderated one of the panels, entitled “ESG Investing in Asia Post-COVID”. Among the keynote speakers of this session were Ara Brutian, Director and Head of Digital Innovation for Sustainalytics, Rajiv Lall, managing director and vice-chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company, Kai Dai, CEO of Young Sustainable Impact Greater China and Chairman of the Kylin Prime Group, and Arun Sharma, President of Grovepike Associates. It was highlighted during this panel that data structuring and norms were at the centre of the post-COVID investments, and it was also underlined that this COVID crisis had to be considered as an opportunity for investment. The United States’ return to Asia, in terms of investments, was also noted. Voluntary disclosure and engagement was defined to be a key component of the future of finance, especially with the rising generational issues..

Debate between Rajiv Kumar and Yoginder Alagh on “Agricultural policies in the COVID phase”

Rajiv Kumar, vice-Chairman and executive head of NITI Aayog, discussed with Yoginder Alagh, former Indian Minister of Power and member of the Bridge Tank’s board. NITI Aayog replaced the Planning Commission in 2015 and is chaired by Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister.

This dialogue was organised by the World Bank and constituted the introductory statements of the webinar entitled “Agricultural Policy in the COVID phase”. It took place on the 24th of November 2020.

International Finance Forum 2020

Edmond Alphandéry, former French Minister of Economy and former President of EDF, took part in the International Finance Forum 2020 Annual Meeting in the name of the task force he chairs, Carbon Pricing in Europe. The Bridge Tank’s team, who contributed to this task force’s work, also attended this event. This forum allowed experts to discuss how to set up a common agenda between Europe and China regarding carbon pricing. This event took place on the 21st of November 2020.

Participation of the Bridge Tank to the T20 Summit of the G20

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Economics Prize Laureate and Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of the Republic of Liberia, Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations, H. R. H. Prince Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of the King Faisal Foundation’s Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, H. H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nouriel Roubini, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, H. E. Fahad Al Mubarak, Saudi Arabia’s G20 Sherpa, H. E. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank, and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former CEO of Save the Children, were among the keynote speakers of the T20 Summit. This event was held between the 31st of October and the 1st of November 2020. It gathered over 70 world-leading thinkers, civil society organisations and international institutions, to exchange about climate and environment, women and youth, multilateralism, economic development and finance, sustainable resources, as well as technology and digitalisation. 

This summit was concluding the T20’s research, divided into 11 task forces. The Bridge Tank particularly took part in the work of the second of these task forces, focusing on climate change and environment.

Participation of the Bridge Tank in the Bund Summit 2020

Charlene Barshefsky, former United States Trade Representative, Lu Feng, Professor at the National School of Development of Peking University, Timothy Geithner, 75th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, He Jianxiong, former Executive Director for China at the International Monetary Fund, Motoshige Itoh, Professor of International Social Sciences at Gakushuin University, Martin Wolf, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times, Robert Koopman, Chief Economist at the World Trade Organisation, and Jeff Schott, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, were among the keynote speakers of the Bund Summit Seminars. This event was divided into two seminars: “China-US relations and global response: trade and technology”, which was chaired by Lu Feng, and “Global asset allocation under the new normal”, which was moderated by Wang Haiming, Secretary-General of the Bund Summit Organising Committee and of the China Finance 40 Forum. The second seminar was divided into two panels, the first one dedicated to “Asset allocation and investment strategies under the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic” and the second to “Further reform of the capital market and new opportunities for equity investment”.

The Bridge Tank was invited to attend this event, which took place on the 24th and the 25th of October 2020. Over 30 development and finance experts were gathered to intervene in these seminars.

Meeting of the Task Force on Fighting global warming in the EU through carbon pricing targeting, coupled with border adjustment mechanism

The Bridge Tank contributed to the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in Europe working group led by former French Minister of the Economy Edmond Alphandéry. With the support of Pascal Canfin, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, it brought together ministers, members of the European Parliament, representatives of think tanks, academics, members of the business community, as well as European authorities and policy makers from various EU member states.

The enormous challenge to overcome the Covid-19 crisis should not hide the most disturbing phenomenon that awaits us: global warming. At European level, the “European climate law” which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 rightly intends to create a “predictable business environment for industries and investors”. In this regard, this event will examine the introduction of carbon pricing targeting into the European emissions trading scheme. Targeting a predictable price of carbon over time in the ETS would eliminate its current volatility. This stable price environment for energy use decision-making would be a powerful incentive for companies to predictably reduce carbon emissions and thus stimulate investment in the energy transition. As such, this device would go a long way toward achieving the Green Deal’s “net zero greenhouse gas emissions” target. The meeting also explored the economic and social issues linked to the introduction of this measure and focused on the implementation of a carbon adjustment mechanism in the EU.

These proposals met with strong interest from European decision-makers, ranging from Frans Timmermans and Pascal Canfin to ministers from four countries, and personalities such as Pascal Lamy and Laurent Fabius.

At the invitation of Edmond Alphandery, former Minister for the Economy, alongside Pascal Canfin (Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament) and the former Minister for Italian finance Siniscalo – today VC at Morgan Stanley, including several European ministers and EU DGs, The Bridge Tank’s Joël Ruet & Bridge Tank Board Member Raphael Schoentgen contributed to the pan-European workshop on carbon prices in the framework of the EU ETS reform and the border adjustment mechanism, vouching for these ideas as a core tool without excluding bridge tools for certain energies being deployed such as hydrogen, and the possibility of transition support funds for technologies maturing or by the time the carbon price reached threshold values.

In a very direct discussion with Frans Timmermans, (Executive Vice-President of the European Commission), and the main economists of the Macron Committee on the Economy, and Pascal Lamy former Director General of the WTO on “The European Green Agreement and the role of carbon pricing”. Mr. Timmermans shared with us his optimism on new energies, on all the green industries that are accelerating today, including hydrogen, and for a tripling of the electrification of European energy and an exit from coal. He also shared his wish for an original European vision on energy voluntarism shared with Africa. A great moment of debate.

During the last session of this fantastic working group on the price of carbon set up by Edmond Alphandery, former Minister of the Economy, Jochen Flasbarth, Secretary of State for the Environment, for Nature Conservation, construction and nuclear safety at the German Federal Ministry, Leonore Gewessler, Austrian Federal Minister for Climate Action, the Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Hugo Morán, Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment, Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the French Minister for the Ecological Transition, agreed that the EU should consider a carbon adjustment mechanism at the border, not as protectionist measure, but so as to foster economic modernisation and contribution to a local public good. Brune Poirson added the dimension of climate finance and social acceptance – France and Germany are aligned on this point.

Joël Ruet recalled the need to take into account the energy transformation opportunities in Southern Europe, a theme validated by Mr. Flasbarth and Ms. Gewessler, and discuss these matters in confidence with China and India, a key point of attention of The Bridge Tank.

Former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius assessed the Paris Climate Agreement and the contribution that the new “EU team” can make to it: in a framework that must remain compatible with the WTO, ideas on carbon pricing and the adjustment of carbon prices at the borders are progressing. Mr. Fabius also pleaded for consultation or at least information with our partners, including India and China, a subject to which The Bridge Tank is attentive.

T20 Web Conference: Policy Recommendations for a Post-COVID-19 World

Joel Ruet presented the views of the Bridge Tank-convened working group on Promoting Southern actors’ direct access to the Green Climate Fund to de-risk projects and raise additional climate finance flows, written by Joël Ruet, Alessia Ameghini, Adel Ben Youssef, Ban Le, Celine Bak, Alexandre Borde, Paolo Giudici, Axel Michaelowa, Kang Rongping, Aman Srivastava, Leena Srivastava, Anbumozhi Venkatachalam.

Both the 2020-horizon USD 100 billion mobilization for climate and 2025 renewed target remain elusive. Climate negotiations are heading for a deadlock. The largest among multi-lateral climate funds, the Green Climate Fund, targets “greater paradigm-shifting mitigation and adaptation impact”. Structuring and scaling up climate financing implies to focus on differentiating between various risk appetites.

To encourage private additional flows, the G20 should support the GCF’s strategy of efficiently accrediting more Southern actors, becoming a facilitator of blended North-South-South public-private finance and an “educated risk-taking” Fund. This would defuse the climate negotiations crisis and accompany structuring climate finance.

In conversation – better sharing the dividends of growth

At G20 / T20, Saudi Deputy Minister of Finance said multilateral organizations have succeeded in ensuring efficiency but have failed in distribution – they “have focused on creating growth rather than sharing the fruits “

He planned pledges for multilateral stimulation to promote the national and common interests of the population – illustrating demographic transitions and employment in the South.

This is in this spirit ou Policy Brief wants to give ways for financial actors of the South directly accessing the Green Climate Fund.

The Bridge Tank participated in the G20 / Think20 kick-off meeting in Riyadh

At this meeting we presented our ideas and plans for a policy brief to G20 leaders on increasing the financial envelope of the Green Climate Fund. The Brief will be directed by The Bridge Tank and involves contributors from Tunisia, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, Italy and France.

Over the past 5 years, we have contributed to the Task Force on “Climate change and finance” of the T20, and seen the exercise progress and deepen. When G20 leaders decide to unite, solutions are ready through engagement groups like the T20.

We received a warm welcome from the Saudi Arabian G20 presidency and the global T20 teams.

In the Plenary, HRH Prince Turki al Faycal bin Saud, long time head of Saudi intelligence, gave a keynote to Think20/G20 experts, encouraging us for innovative funding solutions, in line with our policy proposals on Green Climate Fund: fast direct access to southern countries, funds and NGOs.

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