Carney hails the rapid increase in the amount of money being managed in line with net zero targets – up from $2tn a few years ago to $130tn today.
He says the new coalition of financial organisations making this commitment, the catchily-named GFanz, will be using “the most rigorous science-based scenarios” to form their plans, and that they will have to report on their progress annually. GFanz will have an advisory panel made of 20 independent experts and 7 NGOs to scrutinise the coalition’s progress, he adds.
Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, is now speaking as part of the second finance session hosted by the UK presidency today. He’s also wearing a little “1.5C” badge on his lapel.
He opens by reminding the audience that a few years ago the climate crisis was seen in much of the finance industry as “someone else’s problem”, whereas now almost every major financial institution is factoring in the risks of climate breakdown to their decisions.
Carney says the finance industry needs to introduce rigorous climate stress testing, and the introduction of frameworks to handle stranded assets responsibly.
Guardian Australia’s resident cartoonist First Dog on the Moon has summed up the first few days of the conference by following the travels of Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin.
See the full cartoon here:
Campaigners have responded critically to Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the UK will become the world’s first net-zero aligned finance centre.
Charlie Kronick, senior climate adviser at Greenpeace UK, said: “This Cop demands transformative action in the financial sector but the chancellor has arrived with a marketing slogan.
“The world’s first net zero aligned financial centre would be one in which financial institutions and companies are required by law at the outset to bring their lending and investments in line with the global goal to limit warming to 1.5C. Instead, these new rules seem to allow plenty of wiggle room for financial institutions to continue with business as usual, rather than ‘rewiring’ the system as the chancellor claims.
“Transition pathways must be genuinely science-based, not determined by what industry participants in cosy alliances consider best practice at any given time. The chancellor is once again falling short of what the climate emergency requires.”
Early this morning police officers conducted a dawn raid and seized an eight-metre long Loch Ness Monster, which was to have been released on the River Clyde.
Campaigners said the monster “represents the growing threat of climate debt burdens for lower income countries, who have been prevented from discussing how debt is sabotaging their climate response at Cop26”. They say richer countries should cancel poor countries’ debt.
My colleague Nina Lakhani has been spending time with indigenous groups who say they are being excluded from negotiations and that the structures of the Cop process are designed to keep power in the hands of those who already have it.
In 2015, the Paris accords legally recognised the crucial role of traditional knowledge and innovations by local communities and indigenous peoples in understanding and tackling the climate crisis. The move was meant to ensure they could participate and influence international climate policies in a more meaningful and equal way.
But six years on, indigenous people interviewed by the Guardian say little has changed inside the UN-led negotiations, while outside environmental destruction continues unchecked in their communities and the impact of the climate crisis is getting worse.
Read the rest of her piece here:
Yellen, who has now wrapped up, has been pronouncing the name of host city Glasgow to rhyme with “now”, in line with US president Joe Biden and various American TV reporters.
Needless to say, Scottish Twitter has not welcomed this.
if I have to ken how arkansas is pronounced then you can learn it’s no glass cow ya prick
Yellen says many renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives, and that the cost of many green technologies is falling rapidly, meaning it makes business sense for companies to put their money into green industry.
She says it is essential to ensure the financial system is resilient to climate risks. Many fear that if there is a sudden rush away from fossil fuels by investors it could cause a financial crisis, as these assets could fall in value rapidly. For this reason, she says the US are putting a lot of resources into identifying risks and opportunities to invest in decarbonisation technologies.
Yellen says a price tag can be put on the action needed, and that it’s estimated at $100-150tn. She says a lot will depend on how public finance is used to direct adaptation and mitigation domestically.
She says the US is stepping up by quadrupling the level of international climate finance to more than $11bn a year by 2024.
Developing countries have said that this is still lower than is needed from the world’s largest economy, especially as the US bears an outsized historical responsibility for the climate crisis.
“Together we can deliver a clean resilient world. That is within our grasp,” Sharma says.
Next up is Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary.
Sharma opens by talking about 1990s environmental activist Swampy, saying that while once he was a household name for his actions, “now there are Swampys all around us”.
Sharma says significant progress has been made, and that the $100bn climate aid target will be met by 2023 at the latest. The original target in the 2015 Paris agreement was 2020.
Sharma says many countries are raising their ambition and their pledges to developing countries. He says the private sector can be harnessed to “bring an entirely new sense of scale” and that he wants more money for adaptation, and more grants for developing countries.
at 5.15am EDT
Sunak wraps up his short speech by urging delegates to focus on making sure the finance sector plays its part in helping the industry become sustainable.
Next up, it’s Cop26 president Alok Sharma.
Sunak says he hopes to “rewire the entire financial system” to put it to use to protect the climate. He says the UK will become the UK’s first ever net zero aligned financial centre. This means companies will have a mandatory duty to set out their pathway to net zero, he says.
Sunak tells developing countries the G20 are stepping up and that the target of $100bn a year of climate finance for developing countries will be met, though he does not give a timeframe. The $100bn target was of the key pledges in the Paris agreement but poor countries have been critical of wealthy countries for still not having reached it six years on. It would be seen as a major coup for the UK government if the target could be hit by the end of the conference, but the total is still several billion short.
Rishi Sunak has taken the stage after being introduced by a rather hectic video featuring a very loud alarm clock.
“I look around this hall and I feel optimism,” says Sunak. He says it is the first Cop to bring the finance industry together with such a common purpose.
“The good news is that the will is there – 80% of the world economy has committed to net zero or carbon neutrality,” he says.
UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has arrived at the conference centre bearing a green version of the traditionally red Budget briefcase.
He’ll be speaking shortly about the UK’s plans to move the financial system towards net zero. If you want to watch him speak, you can find a live stream here.
My colleague George Monbiot has written about the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground:
It really is this simple. We have the technology required to replace fossil fuels. There’s plenty of money, which is currently being squandered on the destruction of life on Earth. The transition could take place in months, if governments willed it. The only thing that stands in the way is the power of legacy industries and the people who profit from them.
Read the full piece here:
Welcome to the Guardian’s coverage of day 3 of the Cop26 climate conference.
Overnight, we got news that hundreds of major financial institutions have committed to align their assets with a net zero target by 2050. The UK government sees this as one of the major achievements of the conference, though critics have pointed out that the pledge does not stop the investors from financing fossil fuels in the short term.
UK chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce this morning that London will become the world’s “first net zero finance centre” – we’ll cover his press conference on that from about 9am.
We also saw an attribution study released overnight that found Europe’s record-breaking hot summer would have been virtually impossible without anthropogenic global heating. The researchers found we can now expect similarly hot summers roughly once every three years, when before the climate crisis it would have been roughly every 10,000 years.
Here’s what to expect today:
9am: Rishi Sunak gives a press conference
10.15am: Mark Carney speaks at a finance event
1.45pm: press conference hosted by the UK Cop26 presidency
We’ll also keep you up to date with the various protests, pledges, discussions and other happenings around Glasgow.
Please feel free to get in touch with me by email at email@example.com or via Twitter at @itsalanevans.