COP25: Carbon pricing, finance and fashion
Carbon pricingCarbon pricing is a phenomenon still in its early stages – though many accept it is something we need, few can agree on how it should be implemented. We attended a panel of top academics from Harvard University, Chinese governments and EU institutions, who discussed ways that carbon pricing could work in the future. Although the carbon pricing industry has little regulation, panellists agreed that a unified way forward which encourages investment in carbon-neutral development – while not harming those who are worst off – is urgently needed.
Sustainable fashionThis year sustainable fashion has been a hot topic, as more and more retailers seek to move away from the negative impacts of fast fashion. The Fashion Industry Charter was passed at COP24 last year, and today we had an update on its progress. The host for the talk was Lucy Shea, CEO of Futerra, who revealed that fashion accounts for 10% of global emissions, and consequently that 96% of companies feel pressure to become more sustainable. The fashion industry must harness this positive collective power to make a difference. Or as Valerie Keller, CEO of Imagine put it: “100 flowers have bloomed – now we need to make a bouquet”.
In a talk on the fashion industry and climate change, CEO of @futerra @swishinglucy says: “This last year I have seen the fashion industry integrating climate targets like never before” ??? #fastfashion #sustainablefashion #COP25 pic.twitter.com/OxOkbmma6W— Greenhouse (@Greenhouse_PR) December 9, 2019
Deconstructing sustainable financeMany in the green movement talk about the importance of sustainable finance, but defining exactly what this means is key to transparency and impact. If we have a common understanding and language around sustainable finance, we can help end greenwashing and accelerate action. We attended a panel session which sought to ‘deconstruct the taxonomy’ around sustainable finance at COP25. Helena Viñes Fiestas, head of Sustainability Research at BNP Paribas Asset Management explained: “The taxonomy is a reference point – like a recommended daily allowance on a cereal box – to inform you exactly what the composition of a financial product is, so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to invest in it.”
Investors @BNPPAM_COM, @avivainvestors and @CalSTRS are questioned about the presence of #fossilfuels in their portfolios at #COP25Madrid...#ClimateActionNow #ClimateEmergency #TimeForChange pic.twitter.com/wZ0jH6Phv3— Greenhouse (@Greenhouse_PR) December 9, 2019
Institutional investorsIf we are to shift the billions from fossil fuels into renewable and sustainable projects, we need institutional investors to be on side. Our final panel of the day, entitled 'The Investor Agenda’, explained that there is a huge investment gap in renewable energy which must be filled – and while public money is important, it cannot do the job alone. Speakers from asset management firms such as Aviva and BNP Paribas outlined their sustainable investment policies. While there is clearly still some way to go – particularly with reference to ending investment in coal – as one of the key speakers affirmed: “we’re on the cusp of big change”. This statement summarises the overriding feeling from the fringes of COP25 as the UN Climate Change Conference moves into its intense second week. Will Vowell, Madrid
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