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2021-05 06
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Global Assessment: Urgent Steps Must Be Taken to Reduce Methane Emissions This Decade

Date:2021-05

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Credit: Andrew Martin / Pixabay Washington DC, May 6, 2021: A Global Methane Assessment released today by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade. Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5˚C) within reach. The assessment, for the first time, integrates the climate and air pollution costs and benefits from methane mitigation. Because methane is a key ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone (smog), a powerful climate forcer and dangerous air pollutant, a 45 per cent reduction would prevent 260 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 25 million tonnes of crop losses annually. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said: “Cutting methane is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years and complements necessary efforts to reduce carbon dioxide. The benefits to society, economies, and the environmental are numerous and far outweigh the cost. We need international cooperation to urgently reduce methane emissions as much as possible this decade.” Rick Duke, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, said: “Methane accounts for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions and, now that the world is acting to phase down hydrofluorocarbons through the Montreal Protocol, it is by far the top priority short-lived climate pollutant that we need to tackle to keep 1.5˚C within reach. The United States is committed to driving down methane emissions both at home and globally—through measures like research and development, standards to control fossil and landfill methane, and incentives to address agricultural methane. We look forward to continued partnership with the CCAC on this crucial climate priority.”  Jutta Paulus, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA, said: “The Global Methane Assessment only increases the urgency of acting on methane emissions. Although it is difficult to influence extra-European Union upstream methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, we must not sit idle in this regard. An ambitious roadmap starting with measurement and reporting duties but outlining requirements for future import permits would push international action. We must tackle emissions not only from the energy sector, but also from landfills, agriculture, and abandoned coal mines. Setting aside dedicated funds for these super-emitters will be well-invested money on the path to reach our climate targets in 2030.” Kadri Simson, European Union Commissioner for Energy, said: “Building on the EU methane strategy last October, this UN report highlights just how damaging methane emissions can be, and the need to take concerted action at international level.” The need for action is urgent. Human-caused methane emissions are increasing faster than any time since record keeping began in the 1980s. Despite a COVID-19 induced economic slowdown in 2020 that prevented another record year for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the amount of methane in the atmosphere shot up to record levels according to data recently released by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is a concern because methane is a an extremely powerful greenhouse gas, responsible for about 30 per cent of warming since pre-industrial times. The good news is that unlike CO2 which stays in the atmosphere for 100s of years, methane starts breaking down quickly, with most of it gone after a decade. This means cutting methane emissions now can rapidly reduce the rate of warming in the near-term. The report notes that most human-caused methane emissions come from three sectors: fossil fuels, waste, and agriculture. In the fossil fuel sector, oil and gas extraction, processing, and distribution account for 23 per cent, and coal mining accounts for 12 per cent of emissions. In the waste sector, landfills and wastewater make up about 20 per cent of emissions. In the agricultural sector, livestock emissions from manure and enteric fermentation represent roughly 32 per cent, and rice cultivation 8 per cent of emissions. The assessment identifies measures that specifically target methane. By implementing these readily available solutions methane emissions can be reduced by 30 per cent by 2030. Most are in the fossil fuel sector where it is relatively easily to locate and fix methane leaks and reduce venting. There are also targeted measures that can be used in the waste and agriculture sectors. Roughly 60 per cent of these targeted measures are low cost and 50 per cent of those have negative costs, meaning companies make money from taking action. The greatest potential for negative costs is in the oil and gas industry where preventing leaks and capturing methane adds to revenue instead of releasing the gas into the atmosphere. But targeted measures alone are not enough. Additional measures that do not specifically target methane, like a shift to renewable energy, residential and commercial energy efficiency, and a reduction in food loss and waste, can reduce methane emissions by a further 15 per cent by 2030. These additional measures are not necessarily harder or slower than targeted measures. Some of them may be much faster to implement, and all of them will produce multiple benefits. Drew Shindell, who chaired the assessment for the CCAC, and is Professor of Climate Science at Duke University, said urgent steps must be taken to reduce methane emissions this decade.    “To achieve global climate goals, we must reduce methane emissions while also urgently reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” Dr Shindell said. “The good news is that most of the required actions bring not only climate benefits but also health and financial benefits, and all the technology needed is already available.” The assessment was compiled by an international team of scientists using state-of-the-art composition and climate models and policy analyses from four leading research centres to create the most comprehensive benefits and costs analysis of methane mitigation options assembled to date. The assessment analyses national level impacts for every country and regional mitigation potential to help policy makers assess global and local costs, which sectors to target, and the effects of methane reductions. The assessment found that the mitigation potential varies between countries and regions. The largest potential in Europe and India is in the waste sector. In China it is from coal production followed by livestock, while in Africa it is from livestock followed by oil and gas. In the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China and India, it is coal and waste, and in the Middle East, North America and Russia/Former Soviet Union it is from oil and gas. In Latin America it is from the livestock subsector. There is growing government ambition to do more to reduce methane. In October 2020, the European Commission adopted the European Union Methane Strategy that outlines measures to cut methane emissions in Europe and internationally. On April 29, the U.S. Senate passed a bi-partisan vote to reinstate Obama-era regulations to control leaks from oil and gas wells. It requires companies to monitor, plug and capture methane from new drilling sites. During President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 - 23, leaders called for reductions in methane.   President Vladimir Putin, Russia, called for global action on methane saying, “we must take into account absolutely every cause of global warming” and “it would be extremely important to develop broad and effective international cooperation in the calculation and monitoring of all polluting emissions into the atmosphere.” President Emmanuel Macron of France said: “[It is] important for all of us to start the fight to reduce methane emissions.” Argentina’s President, Alberto Fernández, also stressed “a plan to reduce methane emissions”. Vietnam’s President, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, said Vietnam plans to reduce methane emissions from agriculture by 10 per cent% by 2030. At the Summit, energy ministries from the U.S., Canada, Norway, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia – which represent 40 percent of global oil and gas production – established the cooperative Net Zero Producers Forum to create pragmatic net-zero strategies, including methane abatement. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 6, 2021

2021-05 04
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Work of Capacity-Building Network Extended To Support Climate Action Implementation

Date:2021-05

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Credit: UN Women UN Climate Change News, 4 May 2021 – The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) has extended the work of its network to the end of 2021 following its successful launch and operation in 2020.  The work of the network is closely linked with the committee’s focus area for 2021 – “building capacity to facilitate coherent implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of national development plans.”  NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. NDCs are submitted every five years to the UNFCCC secretariat and are currently being submitted by Parties. Their coherent implementation is of critical importance to meaningfully respond to the climate emergency and requires strengthened capacities in developing countries. The PCCB had successfully launched the PCCB Network in April 2020 as an important tool to accomplish its mission of sharing capacity-building efforts and activities among members, the PCCB and capacity-building practitioners and stakeholders across the globe.  To celebrate the completion of PCCB Network’s first year, the PCCB gathered its members in the 2nd PCCB Network meeting on 27 April 2021 to look back and learn from the network’s first year, assess the status quo and plan the way forward. Some 100 participants from 54 organisations attended the meeting, tuning in from 37 different countries, and representing a steadily growing membership from different regions. The climate emergency, evidenced by increasing extreme weather events around the world, calls for stepped-up climate action across the board. Many developing countries will need strengthened capacities to implement the climate actions as embodied in their NDCs. To support this, the PCCB network will continue to foster collaborations through its activities and events such as webinars, trainings, thematic and regional meet-ups throughout the year. In preparation for the Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Glasgow, Scotland at the end of the year, the incoming COP26 Presidency from the United Kingdom is strengthening its capacity-building work. The incoming Presidency presented its C4CA project, which aims to bring together parties with non-state actors to focus on a number of areas on mitigation ambition, adaptation action, access to finance, carbon markets, transparency and reporting. The 2nd PCCB meeting has set in motion the process of mapping and fostering networking and collaboration opportunities within the network. The feedback and inputs provided by members at the meeting will be used as a framework to guide the design and implementation of the list of activities of the PCCB Network for 2021. In 2021, the bottom-up approach for implementing activities of the PCCB Network will be further developed and strengthened. Therefore, member-driven proposals that foster collaboration opportunities within the network will be encouraged and promoted through various means, including through a new online space –  to be announced -  to enable additional opportunities for exchange. Source:UN Author:UN Date:May 4, 2021

2021-04 30
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Urgent Climate Action Is Needed to Safeguard the World's Oceans

Date:2021-04

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Credit: Michael Olsen / Unsplash UN Climate Change News, 30 April 2021 - Governments need to take the world’s oceans more strongly into account while considering how to curb greenhouse emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. This is the key conclusion of a report published by UN Climate Change today. Up to now, the ocean has absorbed around 90% of the heat generated by rising greenhouse gas emissions trapped in the Earth’s system, and has taken in 30% of carbon emissions. This has caused significant changes, including ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and sea level rise, with severe impacts on ocean and coastal life and the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities. To date, the ocean has been a critical buffer to change. But tipping points are being reached and ocean risk is increasing. A global average temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius – the upper warming limit of the Paris Agreement – would result in destruction of 99% of the world’s corals, with devastating consequences. Whilst in Arctic regions, tipping points may have already been reached such that adaptive practices can no longer work.  “For too long the ocean has been out of sight, out of mind, and largely absent from global policy conversations on climate change. But the tide is turning. We have the knowledge, policy tools and incentives required, and now is the time to act together,” writes Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in the report. The good news is that many countries are considering increasing ambition with regard to the ocean in their nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans. Ocean action and climate action are intrinsically linked and must be strengthened through breaking down silos and joining of forces to provide the engagement and action needed, based on the best available science. Opportunities for ocean and climate action The ocean provides multiple untapped and powerful opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, provided environmental and social safeguards are met. The most important way to protect the ocean is to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. However, considerably more ambition and action is needed on mitigation (cutting greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (building resilience to climate change). This notably applies to climate finance for developing countries, including for adaptation strategies and nature-based solutions that can increase ocean and coastal zone resilience and protect and restore nature. At the dialogue, Dr Jane Lubchenko, Expert Group Co-Chair of the High Level Panel for a sustainable ocean economy, reported on the ways in which oceans can be a place for action on mitigation – with the potential to provide around 20% reduction in emissions needed by 2050, in order to keep global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. These actions include promoting ocean-based renewable energy; shifting ocean-based transport including freight and passenger shipping to low carbon; protection and restoration of blue carbon and other coastal and marine ecosystems; and moving fisheries, aquaculture and dietary shifts away from emission intensive land-based protein sources (e.g. red meat) towards low-carbon, ocean-based protein and other sources of nutrition. The dialogue also considered adaptation options and opportunities in the ocean and coastal zones. Nature is a fundamental part of ocean resilience to climate change. Adaptation activities include establishing and maintaining climate-smart marine protected areas, supporting climate-smart fisheries and small-scale fisheries, ecosystem-based adaptation, sustainable natural resource management, and protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems. The dialogue heard from many stakeholders from all communities, government, business, NGOs, local communities, academia, indigenous people and youth and re-emphasized that ocean-based climate action requires the participation of all voices at the table to provide co-produced, equitable solutions and people-centred action. Ocean Dialogue sets out recommendations for action The outcomes of the Ocean Dialogue include recommendations for ways forward. Key decisions need to be taken by governments, including at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26. These could be to: Recognize the interconnectedness of the ocean, climate change and nature. Strengthening understanding that ocean action is climate action and ocean finance is climate finance – and vice versa. Increase ambition that includes ocean action and integrate ocean-based solutions into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and other national processes. Strengthen the inclusion of ocean-related issues within relevant aspects of the work of UNFCCC workstreams, constituted bodies and global stocktake. Hold regular dialogue under the UNFCCC process to continue to build understanding and strengthen ocean and climate action to move forward bluer. Source:UN Author:UN Date:April 30, 2021

2021-04 26
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Climate Ambition Builds at Leaders’ Summit on Earth Day

Date:2021-04

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UN Climate Change News, 26 April 2021 – In remarks at the opening of the 2-day Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the United States last week, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called on leaders everywhere to take urgent climate action.  “Mother Nature is not waiting, he said. “We need a green planet — but the world is on red alert.” The UN Chief called on the international community to make this “a decade of transformation,” starting by building a global coalition for net-zero emissions by mid-century to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. “Young people are pushing their elders to do what is right,” he said. The next step in the right direction, he urged, is for all countries – starting with major emitters – to submit new and more ambitious climate action plans - Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - under the Paris Agreement. He called for concrete proposals that ease access to greater finance and technological support for the most vulnerable countries to be on the table before the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November. Reacting to the Summit, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said: “The global climate change emergency is a clear, present and growing danger to all people on this planet. It recognizes no borders and while nations may be impacted differently, none are immune. This is a time for leadership, courage and solidarity by global leaders; a time they must make the tough decisions necessary to finally fulfill the promises of the Paris Agreement and move the world away from disaster and towards an unprecedented era of growth, prosperity and hope for all.” “This Summit, hosted by U.S. President Biden, which brought together more than 40 nations representing 80% of global emissions, is an encouraging and positive step in the right direction. We congratulate the commitments shown by several nations at the summit and I urge all nations to carry forth this leadership and momentum to the crucial COP26 negotiations scheduled for this November in Glasgow.” The United States submitted their new NDC at the Summit, with a target to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. And the United States presented a plan to double, by 2024, their annual public climate finance to developing countries relative to the average level during the second half of the Obama-Biden Administration.  At the Leaders' Summit, the US also announced it is resuming and strengthening its commitment to the United Nations Foundation’s Clean Cooking Alliance. The pledge includes support to help countries achieve their climate ambitions through expanding access to clean cooking. Approximately 2.8 billion people still lack access to clean cooking solutions, costing trillions of dollars a year in damage to health, the climate, and local economies. See: LEADERS' SUMMIT ON CLIMATE SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS by the White House. Read more about the Leaders’ Summit, Earth Day and International Mother Earth Day here, and read the full statement made at the opening of the Summit by António Guterres here.  Statement by the UN Secretary-General at the conclusion of the opening session of the Leaders’ Summit on Climate summing up key outcomes: The Secretary-General thanks President Biden for convening today’s Leaders’ Summit. The commitments and actions announced, provide a much-needed boost to our collective efforts to address the climate crisis ahead of COP 26 in November in Glasgow.     The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement of new and enhanced national determined contributions including by the United States of America, Canada, and Japan, the commitment of Brazil to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as the announcement by the Republic of Korea that it will end all external financing of coal and submit a more ambitious NDC this year. The leadership of all major emitters will be critical to securing success at Glasgow. It is now urgent that all countries – especially other major emitters – present their 2030 climate plans well before COP 26.     The upcoming Petersberg Climate Dialogue, the Partnership for Green Growth and the Global Goals Summit and the Summit of G7 Leaders will be crucial moments for leaders to deliver vital climate finance commitments especially on the US$100 billion goal in support of developing countries climate action promised over a decade ago. The world will be watching carefully, particularly those already experiencing severe climate impacts and an ongoing economic crisis. Delivering on finance and adaptation is a prerequisite for success, and the Secretary-General is encouraged by the announcements made today by President Biden.    Today’s Summit shows the tide is turning for climate action, but there is still a long way to go.  To avert a permanent climate catastrophe, we must now urgently build on the momentum delivered today, in this make-or-break year for people and planet.    The Secretary-General looks forward to convening leaders in September to make that final push towards COP 26. New global coalition to protect tropical forests announced at the Summit Also at the Summit yon 23 April, a group of governments and companies announced the LEAF Coalition, an ambitious new global initiative designed to accelerate climate action by raising at least $1 billion to protect the world’s rainforests. Source:UN Author:UN Date:April 26, 2021

2021-04 21
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New Financial Alliance for Net Zero Emissions Launches

Date:2021-04

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Credit: Jeffrey Blum / Unsplash Industry-led and UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance also announced today, co-launched by the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Financial Services Taskforce of the Sustainable Markets Initiative • The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), chaired by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, brings together over 160 firms (together responsible for assets in excess of $70 trillion1) from the leading net zero initiatives  across the financial system to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. • All GFANZ member alliances must be accredited by the UN Race to Zero campaign. They must use science-based guidelines to reach net zero emissions, cover all emission scopes, include 2030 interim target setting, and commit to transparent reporting and accounting in line with the UN Race to Zero criteria. • 43 banks from 23 countries (with assets of $28.5 trillion) form the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) today - which joins GFANZ - with its members committing to align operational and attributable emissions from their portfolios with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner. • The Net-Zero Banking Alliance is convened by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and co-launched by the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF). 21 April 2021 - Today, on the eve of President Biden’s Head of State Climate Summit, Mark Carney (the UK Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor for COP26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance) – in partnership with the UNFCCC Climate Action Champions and the UN Race to Zero campaign, and the COP26 Presidency – join the Honorable John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the Honorable Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary to launch a global alliance that brings together existing and new net zero finance initiatives into one sector-wide strategic forum: The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). GFANZ will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars necessary to build a global zero emissions economy and deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. GFANZ will provide a forum for strategic coordination among the leadership of finance institutions from across the finance sector to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy. All initiatives in GFANZ require signatories to set science-aligned interim and long-term goals to reach net zero no later than 2050 in line with Race to Zero’s criteria. These goals are supplemented by member-determined short-term targets and action plans. The industry-led Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and co-launched by the Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF) of the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), is the newest net zero alliance. NZBA brings together an initial cohort of 43 of the world’s leading banks with a focus on delivering the banking sector’s ambition to align its climate commitments with the Paris Agreement goals with collaboration, rigour, and transparency. The NZBA joins existing initiatives: the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. State Street Global Advisors, Trillium Asset Management, and Coutts are also joining the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative today, bringing its membership to 87 members with assets under management representing over $37 trillion. The Paris Aligned Investment Initiative is joining the Race to Zero. The UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance’s 37 members, with over $5.7 trillion assets under management, are demonstrating ambition by already setting science-aligned targets for 2025. These alliances will shortly be joined by some of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers in the soon-to-be launched UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA). By bringing together leading existing and new net zero finance initiatives in the Race to Zero together in one sector-wide strategic forum, GFANZ will catalyse strategic and technical coordination on the steps firms need to take to align with a net zero future. ____________________________ 1The Glasgow Finance Alliance includes 160+ financial institutions across Race to Zero initiatives. These institutions include: 87 asset managers representing US$36.95 trillion in assets under management; 42 banks with US$28.5 trillion in assets; and 58 asset owners with US$7.4 trillion in assets under management. Each entity has made its own net zero commitment with potential overlap across initiatives, institutions and assets. Raising the bar, coordinating action  To unlock the trillions needed to achieve a resilient, zero emissions future, GFANZ will: Broaden Race to Zero’s existing finance sector campaign to establish credible net zero commitments covering all financed activities in all sectors of the financial system. Expand the number of financial institutions with high ambition, credible, and transparent commitments to financing the transition to net zero. Ensure that commitments are backed by interim targets (2030 or sooner), alongside robust transition plans consistent with 1.5°C above pre- industrial levels as required by Race to Zero. Coordinate commitments and actions across the financial system to support economy-wide transition, including the critical analytical tools and market infrastructure (such as credit rating agencies, auditors and stock exchanges) for financial institutions to implement their net zero strategies. Support technical collaboration on substantive and cross-cutting issues that will accelerate the alignment of investment and lending with net zero. Advocate for public policy that supports economy-wide transition to net zero. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Uniting the world’s banks and financial institutions behind the global transition to net zero is crucial to unlocking the finance we need to get there – from backing pioneering firms and new technologies to building resilient economies around the world. The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero will lead this charge ahead of COP26 to scale-up our ambition, accelerate our shift and help us to build back greener together.” U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said: “The largest financial players in the world recognize energy transition represents a vast commercial opportunity as well as a planetary imperative. As countries around the world move to decarbonize, the large sums these institutions are dedicating to climate solutions reflect a growing understanding that the transition to a low-carbon global economy will be critical for their business models. To be credible and effective as market signals, these financial commitments should adhere to clear definitions, metrics, and reporting. Ultimately, the transition to this new economy will create a massive number of new jobs and increase our collective ability to tackle climate change.” COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said: "Without adequate finance, we simply will not achieve the change needed to safeguard our planet for future generations. As the world continues down a crucial decade of delivery on climate action, GFANZ will ensure much-needed acceleration towards net zero by uniting some of the world's most powerful financial actors. I look forward to seeing this new alliance drive up ambition as we look to COP26 and beyond." Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Prime Minister Johnson’s Climate Finance Advisor for COP26, said: “This is the breakthrough in mainstreaming climate finance the world needs. I welcome the leadership of the SMI Financial Services Task Force and other global banks for their new commitments to net zero and for joining forces with GFANZ, the gold standard for net zero commitments in the financial sector. Most fundamentally, GFANZ will act as the strategic forum to ensure the financial system works together to broaden, deepen, and accelerate the transition to a net zero economy.” Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme said: “In a critical year for climate and nature, these alliances speak to the high level of commitment and ambition that the world urgently requires from the financial sector. The end goal is a net-zero transition of the economy in line with science. Nothing less. Immediate, transparent and accountable actions underpin these commitments, and we encourage all financial institutions to follow their peers in committing to achieving the drastic reduction of emissions required over the next decade if we are to succeed in limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.” Nigel Topping, High-Level Climate Champion for COP26, said: “Already, a fundamental shift in capital is accelerating, with the world’s largest asset owners and managers – and now banks – joining the Race to Zero. But the finance gap remains in the trillions of dollars, particularly for developing economies, and concerted efforts are needed to translate necessary solutions into investable propositions, which is why I am delighted to be collaborating on GFANZ.” Brian Moynihan, Co-Chair of the SMI and Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of America, said: “This commitment to net-zero by the SMI financial services leaders is an example of the leadership that the CEOs of SMI companies can generate by working together. We will work closely with CEOs from other industry groups and others to continue to drive the other SMI priorities established by His Royal Highness in the Terra Carta earlier this year.” Noel Quinn, Chair of SMI Financial Sector Taskforce and Group Chief Executive of HSBC, said: “A commitment to financing the transition to net zero is essential. It’s important that the banking sector is committed to providing the financial support needed to help customers on that transition. But we have to establish a robust and transparent framework for monitoring progress against that objective and we want to set that standard for the banking industry. Industry-wide collaboration is essential in achieving that goal. I’m delighted that banks from the SMI Financial Services Taskforce have joined forces to establish the Net Zero Banking Alliance.” Ana Botin, Group Executive Chairman, Banco Santander, said: “If we are to green the world’s economy, we need a truly global effort - banks, companies, governments, regulators and civil society working together at pace. At Santander we are proud to be part of the founding members of this new alliance, and to accelerate progress towards net zero.” Bringing in global banks The industry-led Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA)2, convened by the UN, joins the Race to Zero and brings together 43 banks from around the world — from Latin America to Asia to Africa – elevating the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions. It sees the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which will convene the alliance, join forces with banks from the Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF), an industry sub-group of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI). All banks that have signed the commitment will: Align operational and attributable emissions from their lending and investment portfolios with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner. Within 18 months of joining, set 2030 targets (or sooner) and a 2050 target, with intermediate targets to be set every 5 years from 2030 onwards. All targets will be regularly reviewed to ensure consistency with the latest science (as detailed in IPCC assessment reports). Banks’ first 2030 targets will focus on priority sectors where the bank can have the most significant impact, ie. the most GHG-intensive sectors within their portfolios. Within 36 months of joining, banks will set a further round of sector-level targets for all or a significant majority of specified carbon-intensive sectors, including: agriculture; aluminium; cement; coal; commercial and residential real estate; iron & steel; oil & gas; power generation; transport. The commitment is designed to ensure that banks engage with their clients’ own transition and decarbonisation, promoting real economy transition Annually publish absolute emissions and emissions intensity in line with best practice and within a year of setting targets, disclose progress against a board-level reviewed transition strategy setting out proposed actions and climate-related sectoral policies. Take a robust approach to the role of offsets in transition plans. The commitment is underpinned by the bank-led UNEP FI Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks, also launched today. These guidelines have been developed by banks from theCollective Commitment to Climate Action, a leadership group under the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking. ___________________________ 2 The UN-Convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance will deliver internationally consistent guidelines and a global community, with local implementation also supported by country chapters, the first of which will be established by the UK Bankers for Net Zero. Coming soon: Insurers for net zero Some of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers are currently establishing the UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) under the auspices of UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), building on their climate leadership as investors via the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. The seven companies involved in establishing the NZIA are AXA (Chair), Allianz, Aviva, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group. The NZIA has submitted a statement of intent to join the UN Race to Zero and become part of the GFANZ, and is expected to be officially launched at COP26. Source:UN Author:UN Date:April 21, 2021