African Countries Again Object to US Attempts to Influence the Strategic Direction of Global Climate Funds

African governments have sought to prevent the US from co-chairing the Green Climate Fund, on the basis that it has failed to live up to its promise to deliver $2 billion in climate finance to the fund. This follows on from the unsuccessful attempt by the US to take part in negotiations on the Adaptation Fund at COP27 last year (which were objected to by South Africa), even though it was not a party to the Kyoto Protocol under which the Fund was established.

Biodiversity Gets its Paris Moment: Climate Takeaways from COP15

In the early hours of the morning on 19 December 2022, the gavel came down on the 15th COP of the Convention on Biodiversity, hosted in Montreal under the Presidency of China. The outcome of the COP is the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the product of more than four years of global negotiations. Some of the debates at the negotiations will be familiar to veterans of the climate negotiations, including on the ambition of 2030 and 2050 targets and their specificity, a lack of finance for developing countries to meet the targets, the ability of states to determine how to meet the global targets through national planning frameworks, the ratcheting of ambition, the protection of indigenous community rights and special dispensations and considerations for small island states and least developed countries. In our analysis we highlight some of the key aspects of the GBF, particularly as they relate to climate, focusing on the main targets agreed to. We also discuss the debates around finance, explaining why the DRC understandably objected to the final package that was presented. Lastly, we unpack the interlinkages between two regimes and how they can learn from each other going forward.

World Bank Looks to Revise its Climate Lending

Earlier this month the World Bank released an “evolution roadmap” to change its mission, operating model and financial capacity with a view to expanding its lending capacity to address global crises such as climate change. It intends to negotiate this with its shareholders in April, with a view to it being approved by the joint World Bank and IMF Development Committee in October this year. Amongst various reforms, the Bank is questioning whether climate vulnerability could substitute poverty as a lending criteria. This could mean a new concessional fund that middle income African countries could access on more affordable terms.

Biden Administration Confirms Intent to Invest US55 billion in Africa in the Next Three years, Including in Climate Change

During December’s second US-Africa Leaders Summit, the Biden administration confirmed its intention to invest $55 billion in Africa over the next three years. In addition to finance, the US intends to support Africa’s membership of the G20, something that the African Union has been seeking for some time. G20 membership is an important means to secure influence and progress agendas within climate negotiations. To remain relevant the US will need to ensure that the intended reshoring of clean technology manufacturing and development in America is done in a way that does not alienate its African trading partners. It will need to closely engage with Africa to ensure the latter benefits from the increased export of critical rare minerals needed for the green transition.

EU Reiterates Promised Investment in African Energy through the Global Gateway

At a follow up meeting between the European Commission and the African Union, the EU reiterated its to increase investment in African clean energy projects and to scale up infrastructure investment. It will
do so via the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package, which was announced last year. The
additionality of these funds, the role of the private sector and the lack of clarity on what they will be
applied to however remains in question.

COP15 mulls over a Global Biodiversity Framework

At this year’s Convention on Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal between 7 and 19 December, Parties are deliberating over a Global Biodiversity Framework, which many are hoping will be a “Paris Moment for Nature”. The draft framework is likely to be comprised of 21 targets and 10 ‘milestones’ to be achieved by the end of the decade. In our brief we consider linkages and similarities between these negotiations and the climate regime, in particular on finance and the global goal on adaptation.

Developed and Developing World Both Call for World Bank Climate Reforms

Recent comments by World Bank President, David Malpass, ignited furore, when he refused to acknowledge that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change. Whilst he has sought to retract this position, it has been used as a platform for global leaders to act on longstanding frustrations with the World Bank’s role in decarbonisation. At the World Bank’s annual general meeting last week Germany and the United States put forward a joint proposal for the “fundamental reform of the World Bank” to its management, including reforms to its approach to climate change. A group of the world’s most vulnerable 20 countries also floated the possibility of suspending the repayment of their World Bank loans, amounting to $685 billion.

Munich Re has committed to no longer invest in or insure oil and gas

The world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, has pledged to cease investing in or insuring oil and gas contracts or projects. This includes the planning, financing, construction or operation of new oil and gas fields, new midstream oil infrastructure and new oil-fired power plants. The company’s approach to net-zero is also why it declined to finance […]