– EU tightens criteria for sustainable investments
– The world’s carbon budget to reach 1.5°C of warming is now 250 gigatons of CO2e
– World leaders headed to Paris Summit in push for global debt, climate reform
The European Commission has updated its sustainable finance taxonomy to tighten the criteria for defining green investments, aiming to enhance transparency in the EU’s sustainable finance framework. The new rules include stricter regulations for environmental, social, and governance rating providers and biodiversity carbon offsetting schemes, despite their lack of regulation.
The inclusion of biodiversity carbon offsetting schemes in the updated sustainable finance taxonomy is seen as a positive step by many. It recognizes the potential of offsetting initiatives to contribute to environmental conservation and restoration efforts. By acknowledging these schemes as legitimate green activities, the European Commission is providing a pathway for companies to support biodiversity protection as part of their sustainable finance strategies.
New scientific data reveals that the world’s remaining carbon budget has been halved from 500 gigatons in early 2020 to 250 gigatons as of the beginning of 2023, indicating that the carbon budget is shrinking at an accelerating pace. This update, published on the open data platform Indicators of Global Climate Change, shows that global warming is persistently accelerating at a remarkable speed, with the world on track to deplete its carbon budget within a few years. Despite an increase in fossil fuel companies setting net-zero emissions targets, a new report highlights that most of these targets lack meaningful commitments to transition away from fossil fuel extraction and production.
Urgent action is needed to address the decreasing carbon budget, including a rapid transition to renewable and low-carbon energy, improved energy efficiency, decarbonization of transportation, sustainable land use practices, enhanced international cooperation, and the implementation of carbon pricing and regulations. Simultaneously, it is crucial to raise public awareness and engagement to drive collective action towards reducing emissions and preserving a sustainable future.
The Summit for a New Global Financial Pact, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims to establish a fresh consensus to address poverty, climate change, and environmental protection on a global scale. The two-day summit brings together 50 heads of state and government to discuss various ideas, including potential taxation on shipping, fossil fuels, or financial transactions, as well as reforms to international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Developing nations are seeking concrete progress in restructuring the global financial system to align with climate targets by 2030, emphasizing the need for timelines and commitments from wealthier countries.
Developing nations are the most climate vulnerable, facing the harshest impacts of climate change despite contributing less to global emissions. Restructuring global debt can provide these nations with financial relief, enabling them to invest in climate adaptation and mitigation measures, build resilience, and transition to low-carbon economies, thereby addressing their climate vulnerability and fostering sustainable development.