While exciting, this weekend’s Earth Day Paris Agreement signing ceremony will be a largely symbolic exercise. It will take a ratified deal to really open the floodgates of capital needed to build a two-degree world.
Echoing diplomacy efforts by Canada, the United States, and China, this week a group representing 400 institutional investors called on world leaders to ratify the Paris Agreement and bring it into force ahead of schedule.
“The Paris Agreement provides the framework to trigger the pace and scale of investment– at least $1 trillion per year, four-fold higher than current levels – needed to decarbonise the global economy while limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius or less,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the organization’s Investor Network on Climate Risk in a statement.
Lubber and her peers are pressing the issue because markets need the business certainty that a legally binding global climate agreement would provide. The fastest way to reverse the global rise of carbon pollution is to get the private sector on the job at the needed scope, scale, and speed.
As one speaker after another said at GLOBE 2016, we need to collectively roll up our sleeves and get to work on biggest business opportunity of our generation—the project of retrofitting our cities and networks for equitable low-carbon growth.
The investment groups behind this week’s open letter, operating under the umbrella of the Investor Platform For Climate Actions, collectively hold the purse strings on some USD$24 trillion of assets. They’re flagging the urgency of the issue as representatives from 155 countries head to New York this weekend to ceremonially—but not legally—sign the Paris Agreement.
Encouragingly, global emissions have stalled for the past two years even as GDP has grown. Though global investment in clean energy is growing at a healthy clip, a legally binding Paris Agreement is a critical next piece needed to truly open up the floodgates. If the deal is to stick, some 55 nations covering 55 percent of global emissions must formally ratify before it is scheduled to come into force.
According to The Guardian, to date the United States, China, Canada, and a host of other countries have promised to legally join the agreement this year, boosting the hopes of bringing the Paris deal into force before the initial target date of 2020—possibly as early as this year or 2017.
Speaking of 2017, that’s when GLOBE Series will host GLOBE Capital 2017 at the Four Seasons Toronto, from April 3-5, 2017. Save the date!