IKEA inspires G7 to go DIY on raising climate billions

climate billions

Creative Commons: 2008

As governments meet in Bonn to continue work towards a new global climate agreement, research has shown the potential for progress in efforts to scale up climate finance, one of the most critical and contentious issues in the talks.

Against a backdrop of growing real-world momentum, a new briefing from the World Resources Institute (WRI) shows the potential for governments to unlock greater ambition by living up to their international commitment to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to vulnerable nations to tackle climate change, an achievable goal if countries examine all options – both public and private – for generating resources.

Athena Ballesteros, director, sustainable finance initiative, World Resources Institute said:

An international climate agreement at COP21, including agreement on finance, depends on developed countries providing a credible pathway to honor their commitments with strong provisions for predictable and adequate climate finance. While $100 billion is not sufficient on its own to create a low-carbon transformation, it is an important political goal to signal developed countries’ are committed to scaling up climate finance.

IKEA is today highlighting what the private sector role in this could look like, announcing a €1 billion funding commitment.

The furniture giant has decided to invest €600 million in renewable energy, adding to 700,000 solar panels on its buildings and 314 offsite wind turbines which IKEA is already committed to and which put the company on track to become energy independent.

Another €400 million will go to support communities most impacted by climate change.

Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group said:

Climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges and we need bold commitments and action to find a solution. That’s why we are going all in to transform our business, to ensure that it is fit for the future and we can have a positive impact. This includes going 100% for renewable energy, by investing in wind and solar, and converting all our lighting products to affordable LED bulbs, helping many millions of households to live a more sustainable life at home.

Apart from leveraging private finance like in the IKEA example, the new WRI report highlights a number of strategies for governments to generate further resources.

These could include carbon-market revenues, transaction taxes and redirecting fossil fuel subsidies, such as the more than US $73 billion – or over $9 billion a year – in public finance given to coal between 2007 and 2014.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor said;

Poorer countries are waiting to see a credible roadmap to the promised $100 billion of climate finance from developed countries. The Paris agreement should be seen as something which helps build the resilience of vulnerable communities. If it doesn’t recognise that rising temperatures will require greater adaption then it won’t be fit for purpose. Bonn is a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for a successful outcome in Paris.

Best placed to lead on these solutions are the richest nations on the planet. This weekend, G7 heads of state meet in Germany, and climate finance is high on their agenda.

By following in the host nation’s footsteps and increasing their climate finance offers, they could give the negotiations taking place in Bonn at the same time an important boost, unlocking more climate action by supporting developing countries to transition to 100% renewable energy.

Setting these commitments well ahead of the Paris talks in December – where the new global climate agreement is due for agreement – will be vital to give all countries the confidence that they need to pledge bold action.

Other highlights from Bonn

  • WWF laid out a series of steps that governments should take now to help close the gap between current climate action plans and what’s required to safeguard our future. The report “Crossing the Divide: How To Close The Emissions Abyss”, focuses on the Philippines, Kenya, Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, UAE, Russia, Poland and the UK
  • A new plan to tackle climate change by emulating the race to put a man on the moon was launched this week, aimed at channelling billions of dollars in research to give increased renewable energy commercial lift off. The Global Apollo Programme is the brainchild of UK scientists, economists and businessmen including Sir David King, currently the UK’s climate change envoy, Lord Nicholas Stern, Lord Adair Turner and ex-BP chief Lord John Browne.

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