“Germany wants to help Kenya get from 90% renewables to 100%, its BMZ development ministry says. The two countries have announced a partnership at Cop27, with the details to be fleshed out in December. After Kenya’s power needs are met, it can use the electricity to make green hydrogen, BMZ said. ” Climate Home News
On the agenda today at COP27 is finance. Money is crucial if the world is to shift to a net zero economy.
The thought that our money is being used to potentially develop these new oil and gas fields is devastating and suggests that both these institutions and our government are not serious in their commitment to reducing green house gases.
Refocusing our environmental lifestyle should also include our finances. We can in small ways influence the environmental protection that financial world gives through our choice of bank, mortgage lender, insurance provider and pension fund. All these financial institutions invest money (our money in fact) to gain a return that finances their product. Where they invest their money can impact the environment. For example if they invest in companies that produce fossil fuels, they are financing the continued production of green house gases. If they invest in companies that manufacture plastic packaging, they are financing the continued production of the commonest form of litter. If they invest in companies that produce tobacco, they are financing the continued production of an addictive and carcinogenic commodity.
For more insight into the environmental issues around banks see this Ethical Consumer report. They also provide ratings for different financial institutions covering current accounts, savings accounts and mortgages etc. To access these you will need to be a subscriber.
For more information on pensions and pension funds see https://makemymoneymatter.co.uk/ which strongly advocates swopping your pension as the most effective way of tackling climate change. (However if, like me, you don’t have a portable pension this won’t be possible. Nevertheless you can still keep asking your pension provider to adopt an environmentally responsible approach to its investment strategy).
In order to tackle climate change finance is needed, both state and private finance. This comes in the form of investment needed to facilitate the transfer from carbon-based to green technologies, and to train those who will work in these new industries; to transfer from animal based agriculture to plant based agriculture, and from a meat and diary based food industry to a plant based food industry; the need to invest in restoring, enlarging and maintaining carbon sequestering land and seascapes; the need to adapt existing and build new infrastructure to cope with the changes in climate that are already happening such as flooding and heat waves, including paying for those individuals and groups who cannot afford to pay for these adaptions themselves; to develop the new systems and infrastructure needed to cope with the future changes in the climate which have already been locked into world and which may increase if global temperatures rise significantly above the current 1C increase.
Poorer countries and small island states are in particular need of support from affluent countries like ours. The intention – although not yet the fact – is that developed nations will be supplying $1 billion to finance support for these more vulnerable nations.
Action 47: Green your pension: this article comes from The Guardian There’s an estimated £2.6tn invested in UK pensions. You might not know it, but much of it funds environmentally harmful industries and activities such as fossil fuels or deforestation. Your pension may not seem like a powerful eco tool, but according to research by Make My Money Matter, Aviva and Route2, getting a green pension can be 21 times more effective in cutting your carbon footprint than giving up flying, going veggie, and switching to renewable energy combined. In fact, this research shows it’s the most powerful step an individual can take to reduce their carbon. And it’s not just a high-impact activity – it’s also popular. More than two-thirds of us want our money to support people and the planet. By pressuring your provider to invest more sustainably, or finding a more climate-friendly option, you’ll be able to sleep easier knowing your pension is now a force for good.
Action 34: Green your insurance. Insurance companies, pension companies and banks are amongst the biggest investors in fossil fuels and related industries – yet it is the continuing use of fossil fuels that is accelerating our climate crisis. It would be far better if our monies were invested in green industries that are and can increasingly actively decarbonise our economy. Switch to a home insurance company that does not underpinning the fossil fuel industry. Check out the Ethical Consumer’s Guide on home insurance: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/money-finance/shopping-guide/ethical-home-insurance.