Category: New Energies

The joint launch of the EU Hydrogen and EU energy integration strategies, along the industry’s clean hydrogen alliance, suggest Europe is ready to build a world-class energy transition advantage

EU’s Policy making seldom shows such a great coordination across the Union, member states, regions, across different policies and between policy makers and the industry. The 8th of July of 2020 was a landmark announcement that could face up Asian leadership ambitions. This demonstrates the cohesive strength of the European construction, the next frontier being of course an energy transition that is just, inclusive, and participative in process.

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.

Innovation lunch by The Bridge Tank in Davos

The Bridge Tank organized on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos an international workshop on the theme: “Accelerating the smart city – financing solutions and project governance for emerging markets. “

The bridge tank organised an industry conversation on « accelerating the smart city – financing solutions & project governance for emerging markets », convened by Joel Ruet & our Board Member Pranjal Sharma. The event was the opportunity to exchange on how to Kick-start the Smart cities: How to go from ideas to projects, from projects to returns, from returns to smart cities that work. How can entrepreneurs, companies, investors gear into initiatives that are left free to succeed by the city authorities, for smart cities to no longer mean blueprints but develop and operate as a true industry?

 

Our starting point was that « smart cities » have been on the air for long ; had they picked the magnitude we talked them about, we’d see them everywhere by now. We discussed the evolving funding criteria for smart cities; their ever evolving challenges and meeting them for smart cities funding. 

First of all, contributors reminded the definition issue, ranging from mere energy, food or water conservation to smart and widespread use of data, through new cities, real estate with an ecosystem community including schools for talents, etc. 

The second issue was on governance: how to decide, how to fund them? Which strategies between new cities and modifying existing ones? And how not to forget the smart villages? The Indian rural experience was discussed, on strategies to move from thermal diesel to solar, generalise wifis and digital bank accounts, digital crop data management for fertilizers. 

Some participants from emerging countries were on the position that smartness should be tested in villages and then extended to smart cities; the example of Punjab was mentioned, which started from the district level, then with 3 smart cities in Punjab. IFC’s experience in digitalisation in “Invest in Africa” program was also mentioned as a successful pilot. However, cheap internet through mobile systems isn’t per se making a smart city. The issue of space was mentioned: smartness is not just about digitalization but requires space: in already congested cities this raises serious concerns. 

The issue of public governance and private profitability were mentioned, but we dedicated a large space of our conversation to the issue of enabling citizens: as they become smart, so does the city they live in. “Innovation clusters”, with the Ukrainian example this time, were mentioned in such a spirit of rather looking at what brings people together, not necessarily having to involve the government. 

Last, economic practice were mentioned: not just about introducing technology but also co-living, sharing economy, etc., and, at the end, a more segmented approach for circular economy, between premium / mass segments.

Unlocking Finance: The Key Factor for Investment on Green Projects in Africa

A significant change in how investors approach green projects is underway. The fight against climate change requires and will require increases in the amount of capital being devoted to green projects. This underlines the importance of mobilizing financial actors from the private sector. Their awareness of this need and on the opportunities these investment give into re-defining the business, is already, for some of them, becoming a reality.

We now have the opportunity to move towards a “decarbonization“ of investment portfolios. For investment to match climate change mitigation goals, we will need concrete moves towards decarbonizing portfolios. The good news is that certain tools exist that can help make green projects more attractive to investors. This policy brief argues for renewed emphasis and action on these points to significantly boost investment. In other words, Africa is open for business.

Read More …

Policy Brief : Soil as Natural Capital: a factor for sustainable diversification

The soil is a living ecosystem that is capable of growth and diversification. It is also a productive capital but the conventional methods and technologies of its exploitation could lead to its destruction. Reversing this paradigm is the basis of a green growth strategy: the soil can become a carbon sink again, and the material and energy it produces can fuel genuinely sustainable industries, especially mobility. As a capital, the soil is not irremediably degraded; Sustainable management of soil capital is hence a priority for sustainable diversification and climate.

Read more in french

T20/G20 Policy Brief : Innovative Green-Technology SMEs as an Opportunity to Promote Financial De-Risking

By Joël Ruet(The Bridge Tank and CNRS-CEPN), Elena Verdolini(FEEM and CMCC), Céline Bak(CIGI and Analytica Advisors),  Anbumozhi Venkatachalam(ERIA)

“We recommend that the G20 target innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking while addressing Paris Agreement commitments and UN Sustainable Development Goals. This should be achieved by creating signals for private investors through: (1) a reporting system that can help monitor the scale-up of green-technology SMEs; (2) the use of public funds to signal innovative green-technology SMEs to investors; and (3) the inclusion of SMEs in the design of green finance platforms. By implementing these recommendations, the G20 will ensure that innovative, low- carbon SMEs become attractive, low(er)-risk investment opportunities for the private sector.” Read more …

Policy Brief: Transfers of Knowledge & Technology : the ultimate Development Challenge and key role of Entreprises

Technology transfer, coupled with the formation of knowledge, has long been an objective targeted by development policies. Issues related to climate and environmental transitions have reinforced the perception of the importance of technology transfer from the North to the South as a means to clean development. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is the main tool of climate finance. Implemented in 2005, it aims to orchestrate this transfer of clean technologies. Criticized for its ineffectiveness, its mitigated success is above all a reminder of a truth that has been known for a long time: the technological absorption capacities of territories are more important than the technologies themselves. A strategy of development through technological diffusion cannot therefore ignore the support given to local economies and their enterprises – the support for the development of the market and probably also the support for the development of intellectual property regimes that underpin knowledge transfer to developing economies.

These last two points are necessary to articulate a healthy relationship between international technology-providing companies and local recipient companies and in build a framework that aids in appropriating, adapting and disseminating them … a necessary condition for the success of “technological seeding”.

Our recommendations are based on a logic spontaneously implemented by the countries that have been most effective in capturing the CDM “manna”: China, India and Brazil have been able to orchestrate their markets and, through generous offers in kind, to free themselves from the stakes blocking intellectual property elsewhere.

Read more in french. 

The Bridge Tank, a T20 member, participated in the G20 Summit in Hamburg

The Think20 (T20) is a network of research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries. Its role is to provide policy recommendations to the G20. It also facilitates interaction between members and shares global issues through its blog.

The Bridge Tank, member of the T20, participated in the G20 Summit in Hamburg the 7th and the 8th of July and provided research-based policy briefs for the G20 Insights platforms that aims to support G20 policy making. The Bridge Tank has joined other expert think tanks in writing two policy briefs with the Climate Policy and Finance task force. One of those policy briefs got selected among the 20 best policy briefs that were presented during the G20 Summit. It analyses the role of innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking.

To read those two policy briefs : http://thebridgetank.org/en/influence-we-shape/briefings-studies/

T20/G20 Policy Brief: GREEN SHIFT TO SUSTAINABILITY: Co-benefits & Impacts of Energy Transformation on Resource Industries, Trade, Growth and Taxes

By R. Andreas Kraemer (lead) – Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada,Joël Ruet – The Bridge Tank, France,Barry Carin– Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada, Max Gruenig– Ecologic Institute, Germany & United States, Fernando Naves Blumenschein & Renato Flores– Fundação, Getulio Vargas(FGV), Brazil, Akshay Mathur– Gateway House, India, Clara Brandi – German Development Institute (GDI-DIE), Thomas Spencer– Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (IDDRI), France Sebastian Helgenberger & Sonja Thielges– Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany,  Scott Vaughan– International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Canada,Shelagh Whitley– Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, Hermann Ott– Wuppertal Institute, Germany. 

“Energy transformation towards 100% renewable energy is economically inevitable, and socially and environmentally desirable, yet it may produce negative signals in outdated statistics as fossil trade diminishes and the sector shrinks. This paradoxon should be addressed in a joint report by, e.g., IRENA, IMF, OECD, andthe World Bank, and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Fossil fuel extraction and commodity trade will end, and fossil asset values erode. The industry’s role in capital formation, international trade, economic activity (GDP), and government revenue will decline. New energy systems, based on efficiency, renewables, storage, and smart management are cheaper to build, run and maintain. Growth of electricity use stimulates innovation, value creation, and growth in consumer rent, as renewable energy technologies harvest free environmental flows that are not traded and often for self-consumption. Total utility will grow while trade, GDP and the tax base may shrink. Reports should inform G20 Leaders, Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors on the true costs and benefits, and alert them to misleading signals.” Read More … 

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Copyright 2020 - The Bridge Tank