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Development banks asked to step up green ambitions ahead of COP26

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(Bloomberg) – The world’s multilateral development banks must push their green ambitions to prevent carbon emissions from skyrocketing in the most powerful economies, according to the 2021 Climate Transparency Report.

The Covid-19 lockdowns caused the energy sector’s carbon dioxide emissions to drop 6% in 2020, but a 4% rebound is projected across the Group of 20 countries this year. Argentina, China, India and Indonesia are expected to exceed their 2019 emission levels before next year.


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Governments channel financing through multilateral development banks, or MDBs, providing direct financing and encouraging private investment. Diverting this money from high-carbon assets is crucial to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to the report.

Organizations like the World Bank are under pressure from the United Nations to accelerate the green transition. They have been criticized for not doing enough to encourage more private sector capital investment to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Earlier this year, the G-20 called on multilateral development banks to align their activities and investments with the 2015 Paris agreement before the high-risk global climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, begin late. of this month. They were also urged to provide new financial tools and financing instruments to boost green activities.


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“The pace is not keeping up with the mission at hand,” Angela Picciariello, senior research officer for the global affairs think tank Overseas Development Institute, told a news conference.

It is not just about money. Access to technology is a major issue, said Erik Berglof, chief economist at the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. “The multilateral development banks must become a platform that helps bring together technology providers and those who use them,” he said.

Multilateral development banks should work with financial institutions and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints, Berglof said. While the MDBs have committed to aligning themselves with Paris, meeting those obligations will be a “very difficult process” that will require drastic changes, he said.


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There have been some advances. In May, the Group of Seven nations pledged to stop using public funding for new coal-fired power plants, while the United States moved away from gas projects through the MDBs. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development promised to stop investing in upstream oil and gas projects by the end of 2022 to align. China also pledged to stop building coal plants abroad.

But the G-20 nations are responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With COP26 just over two weeks away in Scotland, the report urged countries whose goals do not align with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels to present stronger ones.

“The G-20 countries are really behind. At the end of the 2030 climate targets, fossil fuel phase-out plans and climate finance packages, ”said Laurence Tubiana, Executive Director of the European Climate Foundation. “The G-20 needs to move mountains.”

© 2021 Bloomberg LP



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