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UN Urges G20 To Ensure Finance Sector’s Climate Pledges Are Solid

In a report for the G20 as it meets ahead of the talks, UNEP FI has laid out 11 recommendations for policymakers

UN Urges G20 To Ensure Finance Sector's Climate Pledges Are Solid
Earlier in August, a landmark report from U.N. climate panel issued a "code red for humanity", urging faster action from countries to curtail emissions
Highlights
  • In last 2 years we saw an explosion of net-zero commitments: UNEP FI
  • Institutions should set, ideally, five-year climate targets: UNEP FI
  • Climate talks to begin in Glasgow from October 31

London: The United Nations called on Wednesday (October 27) for the world’s biggest economies to ensure net zero commitments made by financial institutions were robust, backed by science and ended financing for new fossil fuel projects. The call is the first time the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has directly given guidance to the G20 on the issue and comes days before the start of crunch climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

In a report for the G20 as it meets ahead of the talks, UNEP FI laid out 11 recommendations for policymakers as they consider how best to oversee the industry efforts to help cut greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century.

There are concerns some of the current pledges are too weak after a landmark report from a U.N. climate panel in August that issued a “code red for humanity”, urging faster action from countries to curtail emissions.

Also Read: Climate Change Is For Real, Here’s Why We Need To Limit Global Warming And Act Now

In the last two years we’ve just seen an incredible explosion of net-zero commitments. This is really the first time we’ve done a state of the art assessment and put forward really concrete recommendations on how a financial institution, specifically, sets a net-zero target that is credible,” Jesica Andrews, investment lead at the UNEP FI, told Reuters.

Against that backdrop, the UNEP FI said financial institutions needed to align with a science-based scenario or scenarios and be transparent about which ones were used.

What is challenging is how you define that science, and that’s what this paper does; it lays out how the science should be applied to make sure that commitment is credible. If policymakers want to get behind this and they want to see more comparability, this is what we need to be asking financial institutions to do,” Ms Andrews said.

Once the scenario was set, firms needed to begin aligning lending as soon as possible to have any hope of hitting the global target of capping global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This would include, for example, the immediate cessation of any new fossil fuel investments, and rapid decommissioning of remaining fossil fuel production as indicated by the scenarios,” the report said.

Also Read: We Need To Demand Climate Action & Start Leading A More Sustainable Life: Dia Mirza

Institutions should also set, ideally, five-year targets and report annually on progress, applying appropriate pathways to net zero that incentivise their underlying companies to act.

We have a lot of portfolio level targets, a lot of commitments to net zero at the high level, but (they are) not drawing that down to the sector level, which is what’s going to make a difference in the real economy,” Ms Andrews said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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