Mostafa Monira Firdouse, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of The Earth (HK)

Climate Change – ‘Will we revert to historic norms after the pandemic? OR WILL IT BRING ABOUT SOME LONG-LASTING CHANGES? Do we know yet?’ – These were some of my concerns in my last blog; HERE. I expect to get some of my answers from COP-26.

Why am I optimistic

The pandemic has forced every single business, regardless of size or sector, to rethink. Not all businesses are proactive or even have plan to manage future disruptions, whether they be climate, disease or policy-related. The pandemic has disrupted everything, but so will the net-zero transition. Global emissions are projected to fall by 8% in 2020 as a result of Covid-19.

Transition: The shift to a net-zero global economy is already well underway and implies a complete transformation of almost every sector. We are seeing a major scale-up of clean power, a shift to electric mobility, and a push towards more efficient electric buildings. Zero-emission fuels promise to transform processes in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, and agriculture is moving towards regenerative practices and more climate-friendly diets. Along with solutions to cut emissions, we will need a huge scale-up in carbon removal solutions such as reforestation, peatland and mangrove restoration, and direct-air capture technologies.

Rise of green financing: Another reason for optimism is the renewed focus on the green agenda from investors, a notoriously risk-averse sector. More than $50bn of green bonds were issued globally in September 2020, making it a record month despite the economic impact of Covid-19, BloombergNEF has revealed. Around $270bn of green bonds were issued in 2019, making it a record-breaking year. If the trends seen in September persist, 2020 could break records once more. Race to Net Zero: Finally, supercharging public-private efforts in the race to net-zero. The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders steps up and calls on G7 and other world leaders to accelerate a just transition.

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