EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti looked ahead optimistically to a successful agreement at crucial climate talks in Paris in December at a conference in Delhi today that addressed key global development challenges.
Sir Suma chaired a ministerial debate at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit - “Sustainable Development Goals and Dealing with Climate Change" -, with a discussion that defined the global objectives of the Paris meeting.
Introducing his fellow panelists, the EBRD President said it was important to determine exactly what the Paris climate talks aimed to achieve, what their mitigation and adaptation goals were and which targets had to be set for reaching a zero carbon economy and by when.
The December Conference of the Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris had to assess the steps that had to be taken to provide support for “imminent and global adaptation needs”.
Just as urgently, the Paris climate talks had to provide for monitoring, verification and reporting mechanisms in order to establish what progress was being achieved.
And finally there needed to be a clear view of the role that climate finance would play in underpinning the implementation of robust mitigation and adaptation measure.
Sir Suma said a strong agreement in Paris this December ”with a clear climate objective, a defined time frame and increasingly sharp price signals” would support a significant growth of financing.
He noted the EBRD was already playing a key international role in climate financing, investing over US$ 3.5 billion dollars in 2014 in over 170 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. From 2006 to 2014, cumulative EBRD mitigation and adaptation finance had reached US$ 20 billion for a total project value of US$ 100 billion of which two thirds were in the private sector.
These investments are expected to result in reduction of carbon emissions of over 70 million tonnes per year.
The panel heard environment challenges and responses from countries as diverse as the United States, Russia, Mexico, India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Norway.
On the first day of the Delhi Summit, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who will chair the Paris talks, had looked ahead to a December conference that would be “transparent, impartial and ambitious”.
Mr Fabius said it was important that national contributions to the agreement be announced as early as possible. He, too, stressed the importance of increasing the finance available for climate change from both the private and the public sectors.
Former California governor and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger, a leading climate champion in his adopted country, told the summit that combatting climate change was not simply an environmental issue.
It was also a key driver of job creation, of improving health levels and ensuring national security. Protecting the environment was a clear way of protecting the economy, Mr Schwarzenegger said.
The Delhi summit was staged by The Energy and Resources Institute, headed by Rajendra Kumar Pachauri the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has provided the scientific arguments for the need to deal with climate challenges.
Mr Pachauri told the conference: "The IPCC reports have proved beyond doubt that if we don't take immediate measures, the future will be catastrophic.”