FACTBOX-One Planet summit turns to private sector for climate action

by Reuters
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 14:38 GMT

In this 2013 file photo, buildings are seen in the financial district in Toronto. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

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Key pledges made around the "One Planet" summit in Paris

PARIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting dozens of world leaders along with global companies and movie superstars at a summit in Paris to accelerate efforts to combat climate change.

The "One Planet" summit will not announce internationally binding commitments, but is counting on mobilising money from public and private financial institutions and from corporations.

Below are some key pledges made around the summit.

* More than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said they would step up pressure on the world's biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to fight climate change.

They said that would be more effective than threatening to pull the plug on their investments in such firms. Divestment would only be a last resort. If big emitters refuse to cooperate, shareholders could ratchet up pressure with public statements, resolutions and votes.

* The European Commission is "looking positively" at plans to lower capital requirements for environmentally friendly investments by banks in a bid to boost the green economy and counter climate change.

The move could be part of a broader set of measures the European Union plans to present in March to meet the target of cutting carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, for which it estimates around 180 billion euros ($212.2 billion) in additional low-carbon investments are needed per year.

* The World Bank said it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances.

As a global multilateral development institution, the World Bank said it is continuing to transform its own operations in recognition of a rapidly changing world.

* Belgium will issue its first bond for use in financing projects to reduce the country's carbon emissions, following a number of countries that have sold or plan to sell "green bonds". Poland became the first a year ago, followed by France with a 7 billion euro issue in January.

Belgium plans to sell 3 to 5 billion euros ($3.5-6 billion) in the first quarter of 2018.

* Dutch bank ING said that by end 2025 it will stop funding any utility that relies on coal for more than 5 percent of its energy.

It will support new clients whose reliance on coal is less than 10 percent as long as they have a strategy in place to cut that to close to zero by 2025. ING also will phase out lending to individual coal-fired power plants by then.

* French insurer AXA will quadruple investments in environmentally friendly projects, adding 9 billion euros ($10.6 billion) by 2020, and divest further from the coal industry.

Axa will target firms deriving more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal. It also will not insure any new coal mines or oil sands projects, including associated pipeline businesses.

* French state-owned power utility EDF plans a big push into solar energy in France that is likely to cost around 25 billion euros. EDF aims to build 30 gigawatt of solar capacity by 2035 in response to a government drive for a massive deployment of renewables.

* French gas and power utility Engie is prepared to invest 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to improve energy efficiency in France over the next five years, its CEO said ahead of the Paris summit.

Engie says energy efficiency contracts already make up 700 million euros of its operating income and that this is likely to increase fourfold by 2026. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by Richard Lough/Mark Heinrich)

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