Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

World Bank Climate Envoy Delivers Powerful Message on Coming Low-Carbon Revolution

Climate
World Bank Climate Envoy Delivers Powerful Message on Coming Low-Carbon Revolution

The World Bank’s Rachel Kyte is a whirling dervish these days in advance of key international climate change negotiations, but she managed a quick stop-by this week at the University of Massachusetts-Boston to share her optimism that a big climate breakthrough is possible next month in Paris.

“We’re at a very different position than we were at Copenhagen [the ‘09 climate talks]. We’re more on track for a pivot, not a pirouette,” said Kyte, vice president and special envoy for climate change at the World Bank, speaking to a riveted audience Tuesday night.

Kyte’s said her “excitement” is guided not by wishful thinking, but powerful shifts on the climate front, among those:

  • Contentious debates over climate science and the cost of action versus inaction are over. “”The cost of inaction will be brutal,” Kyte said, pointing to the climate-influenced El Nino that is wreaking storm and marine life havoc right now across the Pacific Rim and beyond.

  • Climate risk has moved from a fringe college campus topic to a core economy-wide concern. Kyte referenced the Bank of England’s recent warnings of more severe storms, crop failures, coastal flooding and overall economic instability. 

  • Global investors are clamoring for action, as evidenced by a recent letter from more than 400 investors representing $24 trillionyes, trillion—calling on governments to achieve an ambitious climate deal in Paris.

  • Unprecedented willingness of developed and developing countries alike to make strong climate commitments, known formally as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). More than 145 countries, most of them developing countries, have already announced their INDCs, the latest being Fiji which committed this week to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. “(They’re a first-generation investment prospectus for a low-carbon world,” she said.

  • Growing momentum for carbon pricing, including explicit support from most of the countries submitting INDCs as well as 1,000-plus companies, including a half dozen major European oil companies.

While it is clear “we’re on the right side of history,” Kyte says key obstacles remain before the low-carbon economy can really take off. Topping her list are fossil fuel subsidies which must be abolished and “silly politics,” which is impeding coherent action in key political hubs like Washington, DC.

She also chided institutional investors a bit for their parochialism—“they won’t invest south of the Alps”—on clean energy investing. Despite double-digit annual growth in developing countries, clean energy investing is still dominated entirely by multinational financial institutions. “Morocco is just as safe a market as Spain,” she said, highlighting the potential for healthy 7 percent investment returns. “(Investor) money isn’t moving as fast as it should be.”

Peyton Fleming is a senior director at Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group. Follow Peyton on Twitter @PeytonCeres.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How COP21 Will Unleash Massive Global Renewable Energy Growth

Vandana Shiva: Agri-Corporations Attempt to Hijack COP21

What is COP21? Find Out in This 2 Minute Video

Corporate and Financial World Are Finally Ready to Take Climate Action

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch