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Home » International, Opinions, Policy

Bloomberg G-20 Poised to Signal Retreat From Climate-Change Funding Pledge

Submitted by on March 13, 2017 – 6:00 pmNo Comment

by Joe Ryan (Bloomberg) Draft statement encourages private funding for climate change; Previous communique emphasized strong government support  --  Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

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The finance ministers’ draft statement didn’t fully abandon government-backed environmental efforts. It established a goal for G-20 nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by 2025. And it welcomed a push for public companies to disclose climate-related risks to shareholders.    READ MORE and MORE (Reuters)

Excerpt from Reuters:  More than 2,500 cities have issued plans to cut carbon emissions to the United Nations since late 2014, setting an example to almost 200 nations that reached a Paris Agreement in December 2015 to fight global warming.

Although there are no officially collated statistics available, many city targets are more ambitious than those set by governments under the Paris accord, which imposes no obligations on cities, regions or companies to define goals.

Just over half the world's population lives in urban areas, meaning municipalities will help to determine whether the historic shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy agreed in Paris succeeds or fails.

But as many cities become more assertive, governments are reluctant to cede control. READ MORE

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