There is an urgent need for higher climate, finance and emissions reduction ambitions to speed up low carbon growth.
GLOBE-Net, May 30, 2013 – Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said there is an urgent need for higher climate, finance and emissions reduction ambitions to speed up low carbon growth.
Speaking at the 10th Carbon Expo in Barcelona, Figueres claimed it is our goal to ensure a “solid, consolidated low-carbon energy system by 2050”. To achieve this, she argued we have to transform the emissions trading experience and know how into global scale carbon-related assets that are able to determine the quality of energy infrastructure worldwide.
The pace of the transition towards a low carbon growth has to speed up by increased demand, global standardization and accounting systems and tighter policies, she stressed.
Carbon taxes, subsidy structures to promote clean energy and job creation, strong efficiency standards, and private-public partnerships that de-risk the flow of private capital were examples of policies that can be enacted by governments, as means to promote low carbon growth that she cited.
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” width=”200″ bcolor=”add3d5″ bgcolor=”add3d5″ image=”null”]”What we must remember is that our biggest risk is waiting to act, and our greatest reward comes from creating low-carbon growth, enabled by markets and further carbon-related assets.” Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [/stextbox]
According to Figueres, creating new liquid carbon assets that have low volatility and reasonably high likelihood of stable future returns would mobilize not one billion, but tens of billions of dollars of investment for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next few decades.
“Right now what we have is frankly, at best, a second-rate asset because governments are not enacting a strong carbon regime”, she said.
“We have surpassed the 400ppm concentration because carbon regimes of governments are not tight enough”, she added.
Figueres also pointed out that investors and carbon market players have a shared interest to make sure that governments across the world, in both the developed and developing world, tighten their carbon policies.
Although investors are already tightening up their fiduciary requirements and they are valuing companies using corporate carbon accounting systems, they still need greater clarity from policymakers, Figueres noted.
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She added that carbon markets are stronger if they are part of a broader suite of financial instruments that will provide a compelling incentive to mobilize increasingly high levels of capital into low-carbon infrastructure.
“Ultimately, what this is about is underpinning the future low-carbon infrastructure with a smart present-day financial structure that is broad enough and diverse enough to allow each sector, each investment, each economy, to use the most appropriate types of finance and the most appropriate blend of financial instruments”, she concluded.
The entire speech is available here: