Financing the low carbon future
Mobilizing private climate finance to support orderly transition to low-carbon economy
19 Sep 2019 | The Asset

THE Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), formed by UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg at the request of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, released Financing the Low Carbon Future.

The report is aimed at mobilizing private climate finance at the scale and speed needed to support an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy. Drawing on the direct perspective of some of the world’s largest institutions across the investment chain, including private banks, asset managers, and asset owners, the report identifies concrete opportunities for leadership by the public and private sectors to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The group, whose members include Allianz Global Investors, AXA, Enel, Goldman Sachs, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), HSBC, and Macquarie, will formally deliver the report to the Secretary-General at the Climate Action Summit and will announce actions tied to the solutions recommended in the report at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum.

“The private sector has a critical role to play in combating climate change, and mobilizing the global financial system is essential to building a low-carbon future,” says Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“More and more business leaders recognize that economic growth and climate action are not two competing ideas - they go hand in hand. And the solutions presented in this report provide a roadmap for both reducing emissions and strengthening economies,” he adds.

"The widespread effects of climate change are too significant to ignore. Mobilizing climate finance is imperative to addressing the most important challenge of the 21st century,” says Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and vice-chair Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

“As we work with cities to increase the pipeline of investment ready projects, the solutions put forth by the CFLI in their report will ensure that private finance is ready to meet them. I applaud the work of the CFLI in taking a leadership role in the transition to a low carbon economy,” she adds.

Financing the low-carbon future highlights the challenges of increasing new, low-carbon investment while also actively transitioning carbon-intensive sectors. The actionable, near-term solutions the report presents emphasize the importance of partnerships across private finance, public finance, and public policy to enable and support an orderly transition, with a particular focus on investment in emerging markets.

The report highlights various financing strategies needed in sectors where viable clean energy business models already exist, versus industries in which innovation in technology and policy is particularly necessary. Recognizing the transition needed within the financial sector itself, the report also previews the tools and incentives for more systematically aligning financial portfolios with a low-carbon future.

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