Note: You can Download the UNEP Inquiry report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos from HERE
For most part, these diligent professionals - finance ministers, central bankers, regulators and investors do not consider climate change to fall within their job description and mandate. This remarkable compartmentalisation has been reinforced by the failure of climate activists to reach out to financial policymakers.
However, there are signs that things are changing and changing fast.
Mounting evidence of climate change and increasing estimates of how large a financial, economic and human development impact this will have is making it ever harder even for the most conservative central bankers so forswear responsibility. Financial regulators have begun to seriously think through the financial impact of stranded assets. Finance ministries are waking up to the extensive cost of fossil fuel subsidies and the tremendous opportunity offered by carbon and other environmental taxes. Long-term investors such as sovereign wealth funds are waking up not just to the financial risks posed by exposure to fossil fuel investments, but also to the tremendous financial opportunities offered by renewables and energy efficiency.
As the Euro crisis intensifies, an even more serious crisis is brewing in the background, that of impending climate change that threatens not just Europe, but all of humanity. Recent figures on green house gas emissions that exceed the worst case scenario predicted by scientists have shocked the global community.
At the same time, it has become clear that the biggest missing element from all of the European Union's proposals to stem the Euro crisis has been the absence of any growth strategy. Without growth in Europe, we are all doomed to a fate of debt and deflation.
The 99% and Occupy movements have stimulated a wide-ranging public debate about the lack of opportunities, for those at the bottom rungs of society, as well as about the rising levels of inequality accross the world. The EU now has receod unemployment.
The Green New Deal, a proposal to try and meet ambitious Green House Gas Reduction targets through a large scale Green Investment Program has been part of the political rhetoric in the European Union since the on-going financial crisis hit the European Union. However, as things stand now, it means different things to different people and is in danger of becoming just another buzzword with little tangible action having been taken in the EU.
This latest Re-Define report, co-authored by Managing Director Sony Kapoor and two Re-Define Research Associates, reinvigorates the concept of the Green New Deal and will be downloadable from our website later this week. It defines what a Green New Deal will need to look like, estimates how much it would cost, highlights the positive impacts on growth and employment in the European Union, and demonstrates how sufficient private and public sources of funding could be effectively mobilized in support of such a deal.
The Green New Deal will need to aim for a 30% reduction in EU GHG emissions by 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2030 and will need to reinforce the EU’s commitment to the 20% energy efficiency target for 2020. This would help save a significant amount of the nearly 3% of EU GDP that the EU spends on fossil fuel imports every year as well as ease energy security concerns and reduce the uncertainty associated with volatile energy prices.