WWF Drives Climate Finance Innovation for Developing Nations at COP28

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In a collaborative effort with the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction at University College London, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) hosted a significant side event at COP28. Themed Net-Zero Transformation in Developing Countries, Innovative Climate Investment and Financing, the event brought together experts from diverse sectors to discuss climate investment and financing from various angles, including policy advocacy and international cooperation.

Key figures, including Li Gao from the National People’s Congress of China and Manuel Pulga-Vidal, Global Head of Climate and Energy at WWF, addressed the gathering. Manuel Pulga-Vidal emphasized the need for innovative investment mechanisms that genuinely contribute to climate goals, underscoring the importance of credibility and traceability.

Li Gao highlighted the global challenge of supporting developing countries in achieving green and low-carbon transitions. He called on developed nations to significantly increase public funding support and encourage financial institutions to back climate-friendly projects in developing countries at preferential rates. Li stressed the importance of genuine emission reduction efforts, a faster path to carbon neutrality, and avoiding policies that disconnect efforts. He particularly emphasized the pivotal role of carbon markets as a tool to incentivize greenhouse gas reduction.

Additional insights were shared by Li Xiaowen, Deputy Director of the Policy Research Department of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, and Prity Patel, Dean of the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Li Xiaowen emphasized the importance of global cooperation in green finance, suggesting financial institutions offer diversified services tailored to different countries’ needs. Prity Patel focused on innovative business models supported by green finance, crucial for providing basic energy services in regions like sub-Saharan Africa.

The event included a discussion session with participants such as Chen Zhixiang, Chairman of the China Carbon Emission Rights Registration and Trading Center, and Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative. They engaged in a detailed discussion on “How Developing Countries Assume Transformation Carbon Pricing and Emission Constraint Scenarios.”

Chen Zhixiang highlighted the potential for carbon finance in standardization and scale. Sean Kidney praised China’s leadership in climate finance and emphasized the need for a favorable policy environment and enhanced multilateral cooperation.

Sun Yongping made three recommendations for the revised framework of “Development Country Climate Transition Risk Stress Testing,” focusing on considering and disclosing risks, population exposure, and technological progress speed.

Mark Maslin, when asked about assisting developing countries in establishing long-term carbon pricing scenarios, stressed the importance of constructing future emission scenarios based on an inventory and using carbon markets for pricing. He emphasized the long-term consistency and stability of climate finance market policies.

At the event, Du Hongxia, Senior Manager of Green Finance at WWF Beijing Representative Office, announced the release of the “Revised Framework for Stress Testing Climate Transition Risks in Developing Countries.” This framework aims to assist financial institutions in conducting climate risk stress tests, addressing limitations in current tests and ensuring climate resilience in developing countries.

With climate change presenting a severe challenge, WWF anticipates collective efforts to bridge the climate investment and financing gap, providing adequate financial support for the 1.5-degree target.

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