Yesterday, Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, announced the founding members of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), convening six influential financial sector leaders to help facilitate the private financing objectives included in the landmark Paris Agreement. Mary Schapiro, Special Advisor to the Founder and Chairman and Vice Chair for Public Policy at Bloomberg LP, will act as Vice Chair of the CFLI.
The CFLI was formed by Bloomberg at the request of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres, who will host a major Climate Summit during the 74th UN General Assembly in New York in September 2019.
Bloomberg and Schapiro will work closely with founding members — AXA CEO Thomas Buberl, HSBC CEO John Flint, Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan) Executive Managing Director and CIO Hiro Mizuno, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, Enel CEO Francesco Starace, and Macquarie CEO Shemara Wikramanayake — in their efforts to accelerate investments in clean energy and climate solutions around the world. Through innovative partnerships and projects, members are committed to working towards the goal of making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, as specified in the Paris Agreement.
“The faster we can accelerate investment in projects that both reduce emissions and create jobs, the more progress we can make reducing the health and economic risks that come with climate change,” said Bloomberg. “This initiative will help us do that, by bringing more capital to the fight against climate change.”
In October, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that “urgent and unprecedented changes,” including a fivefold increase in average annual investments in low-carbon energy technologies, are necessary in order to prevent the most severe climate impacts by limiting warming to 1.5 °C. Working closely with the UN, which has also requested the Governments of France and Jamaica help lead efforts on climate finance, CFLI members will focus on facilitating the scaling up of private capital flows into climate-friendly investments.
Additionally, the CFLI will deliver a report highlighting best practices and opportunities for enhancing climate finance mobilization – including existing and new initiatives that can be scaled up quickly – and identifying current obstacles to increasing capital flows to low-carbon and climate resilient infrastructure, particularly in emerging economies.
The CFLI will deliver this report in two phases, with an interim report provided to G7 Finance Ministers in July, 2019 and a final report to be released at the UN Climate Summit in September, 2019.
Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Group:
“Deep and fast action is needed to avert the risk of climate change. At AXA we are committed to play our part, notably by shifting our investment portfolios away from fossil fuels and towards greener investments. We also strive to play collectively by fully supporting the TCFD guidelines, which have established a climate risk disclosure standard. However, climate finance needs to be scaled up much more rapidly and massively. This is why we are eager to support the CFLI – a natural extension of the TCFD – to scale investment solutions to tackle climate change.”
John Flint, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings:
“HSBC is delighted to be part of this important initiative. Climate change is a major threat to our environment, societies and economy. Supporting the transition to a low carbon economy is a priority for HSBC and we are a quarter of the way towards delivering on our commitment to provide $100 billion to support sustainable finance projects around the world by 2025.”
David M. Solomon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs:
“Goldman Sachs is proud to stand alongside the members of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative, which represent valued clients and respected peers, as part of a global coalition to address climate change. Our commitment to this issue dates back many years and connects to the core of what we do as a global financial institution, but there is no question that today there is greater urgency. We feel an increasing responsibility to put our resources to work around some of the most important environmental and social issues around the world.”
Francesco Starace, Chief Executive Officer of Enel:
“Enel is committed to long-term sustainable value creation in its development strategy, and it is a leading company in delivering energy to the world along these lines. We have the knowledge, the capability and the insight to facilitate the scale-up and mobilization of private capital towards renewable energy and climate resilience projects across the globe. To this respect, the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative is an outstanding opportunity for us to catalyze efforts and work hand in hand with other leading businesses to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth for our world.”
Shemara Wikramanayake, Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group:
“The world requires a significant and urgent increase in annual climate investment. This mission will require every part of the green investment community – in the public, private and third sectors – to pull together to scale-up best practice, remove barriers to investment and deliver innovative new solutions on an unprecedented scale. I’m proud to support this new initiative on behalf of Macquarie and look forward to collaborating with such expert partners to do everything possible to help mobilise the full commitment and creativity of the finance industry.”