Upcoming Event:

GLCA COP15 Side Event on Scaling Up Low-Carbon Energy Investments in Developing Countries, December 16, 11:00- 12:30, Halfdan Rasmussen Room, Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

GLCA will be hosting a side event during the upcoming 15th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen on Scaling Up Low-Carbon Energy Investments in Developing Countries, from 11:00 to 12:30 on December 16, 2009, in the Halfdan Rasmussen Room of the Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark. The side event will focus on policy options and financial instruments to promote and scale up public and private sector investments in low-carbon energy in developing countries. 

In September 2009, GLCA organized a High-level Roundtable on Enhancing Private Investment in Clean Energy in Developing Countries, chaired by GLCA member and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn.  The Roundtable brought together a small group of distinguished leaders to discuss financial and policy mechanisms to catalyze large-scale private investment flows to clean energy, especially in developing countries. 

The side event in Copenhagen will build on the discussions held during the Roundtable. A high-level panel from public and private finance will offer remarks on topics relevant to scaling up low-carbon energy investment in developing countries, such as energy needs; existing investment profiles; potential for scaling up investments; financial and regulatory barriers; policy options and innovative financial instruments to overcome barriers; and recommendations for both policy makers and private-sector investors. 

Past Events:

1. High Level Roundtable on “Financing for Low-Carbon Energy in Developing Countries”, September 21, 2009:
The high level roundtable on “Financing for Low-Carbon Energy in Developing Countries” was held in New York on September 21, 2009. This day-long event was part of the overall preparations by the Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) for the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen. It was chaired by GLCA member James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank. 

Issues of finance are critical to a new global agreement on climate change post-2012. To address these issues, a small group of distinguished leaders from the world of finance were invited for this high-level roundtable. 

A background paper entitled “Enhancing Private Investment in Clean Energy in Developing Countries” was circulated in advance of the meeting. The paper was prepared by Yasemin Biro under the guidance of Mohamed El-Ashry. Reid Detchon provided valuable edits. This paper was also distributed  to the delegates at the climate talks in Bangkok, Thailand  during in the first part of the ninth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the first part of the seventh session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) that took place between 28 September and 9 October 2009. The paper explores the following issues:

On July 8, 2008, the G8 agreed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050. According to a report prepared by the International Energy Agency for the G8 summit, achieving that goal will require US$ 45 trillion (about 1.1% of average annual global GDP over the period) in additional clean technology investments. A large part of these funds will need to be invested in developing countries. However, there is a significant disparity between the resources required by developing countries to address climate change and the scale of available financing.  Using even the most optimistic estimates, the mechanisms that exist today, such as the Clean Development Mechanism, Global Environment Facility, World Bank Climate Investment Funds and the Adaptation Fund of the Kyoto Protocol will not be able to provide the investment needed. In addition, official development assistance (ODA) has been declining since 2005. Additional sources and mechanisms for both public and private finance must be put in place to finance and incentivize the global transition to low-carbon economy and to help cover the costs of adaptation.

GLCA estimates that about US$ 50 billion per year will be needed in developing countries for mitigation and adaptation. The current global financial crisis should not be an excuse for inaction on climate change. In fact, addressing climate change at the requisite scale can be an integral part of the solution to the financial crisis. The transition to a low-carbon economy can support global recovery by creating new jobs and opportunities across a wide range of industries and services.

Given existing market opportunities, the private sector will take on the majority of investments in low-carbon energy technologies. Governments around the world should guide and leverage these investments in the right direction by providing an enabling environment with a stable regulatory framework and necessary incentives.

The questions that investors and policy makers are facing on this front and were discussed at the roundtable are:

• What should be the scale of new financing, and where will it come from?
• What types of market-based mechanisms would be most effective?
• What sources of private capital most urgently need diverting into low-carbon alternatives on both the supply and demand side? 
• How should public funding be targeted to greatest transformational effect?
• What policies and public financing instruments are necessary to remove barriers, provide incentives and leverage large-scale private investment in developing countries?
• What existing and new tools (e.g., carbon prices, efficiency standards) are effective at shifting these flows? 
• What innovations in private financing are necessary to effect the demand-side changes that have been so elusive?
• How could funding through the carbon market be expanded?
• What can be the role of public-private partnerships in mobilizing large scale financing for clean energy technologies?
• How should OECD and emerging markets relate? 

A summary of the outcome of the roundtable (download)

2. Fourth Meeting of GLCA , May 19 and 20, 2009

The fourth meeting of GLCA was held on May 19 – 20, 2009 at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC.  At the meeting, GLCA members considered a draft GLCA paper focusing on adaptation and the outcome of the Consultation on Adaptation to Climate Change held on April 27 and 28 in Washington, DC. They also discussed a draft communications strategy and work plan for 2009, and reviewed the status of negotiations towards a new climate agreement and the outcomes of GLCA events in 2008. List of participants

3. Consultation on Adaptation to Climate Change, April 27 and 28, 2009:

A Consultation on Adaptation to Climate Change was hosted by the United Nations Foundation and the Club of Madrid on April 27 and 28 at the United Nations Foundation offices in Washington, DC.  The Consultation brought together a number of experts to deliberate on a draft GLCA paper on adaptation including specific recommendations for Copenhagen, to be considered by GLCA, at its 4th meeting in Washington, DC, on May 19 and 20, 2009. List of Participants

The final version of the paper, entitled “Facilitating an International Agreement on Climate Change: Adaptation to Climate Change” was published in June 2009 and circulated among national leaders, policy makers and climate negotiators. The paper was a joint effort by Mohamed El-Ashry, Yasemin Biro, and Tripta Singh. Reid Detchon and Lani Sinclair provided valuable edits.

—GLCA Side-event to COP 14 of the UNFCCC in Poznan, Poland
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008

High Level Discussion on Climate Technology and Finance

During the 14th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC in Poznan, Poland, GLCA organized a high-level discussion on climate technology and finance at a side-event on December 10, 2008.  A discussion paper outlining the key issues was distributed prior to the event.

The GLCA event in Poznan was chaired by President Ricardo Lagos, moderated by Mohammed El-Ashry, and opening remarks were offered by Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway. It brought together 20 distinguished participants for a discussion on:

• Technology development and diffusion – technological options, increasing public-private R&D for clean technologies and their diffusion in developing countries
• Public finance – development cooperation on mitigation and adaptation
• Private sector and market-based instruments – redirecting private sector investments
• Multilateral institutions – funding mechanisms, management of existing and future funds for mitigation and adaptation.

Participants reiterated that technology is a key element of a global effort to combat climate change. Widespread diffusion and adoption of low-carbon technologies and development of new technologies are both needed to cut global emissions in half by 2050.  In order to tackle climate change at the requisite scale, clean energy technologies should be made available to and utilized by all countries. Given that more than three quarters of the global growth in CO2 emissions in the first half of the 21st century will be in developing countries, it is essential to support diffusion of clean technologies in these nations.

In order to reach global emission reduction targets, the participants underscored the need to:
- increase overseas development assistance (ODA) to address climate change
- strengthen public-private partnerships; set-up predictable financing mechanisms
- strengthen existing multilateral institutions. 

They noted that addressing climate change should be seen as an opportunity and not a burden. The current financial crisis should not be an excuse for inaction on climate change; rather, addressing climate change can be an important driver in dealing with the financial crisis.

Given existing market opportunities, the private sector will take on the majority of investments in low-carbon energy technologies. Governments around the world should guide and leverage these investments by providing an enabling environment with a stable regulatory framework and necessary incentives. Proactive policies which put a price on carbon, eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, and require (or incentivize) the use of low- or no-carbon products.

The participants also noted that market instruments such as taxes (harmonized carbon tax, international maritime emission reduction scheme -IMERS, air travel levy, etc.) and cap-and-trade systems with auctions of allowances can raise significant funds.  Funds, channeled through bilateral and/or multilateral means, can help create enabling environments, build institutional/technical capacity and regulatory frameworks, finance R&D and demonstration projects, leverage private-sector investments, and facilitate diffusion of clean technologies in developing nations.

—10th Special Session of the Governing Council /
Global Ministerial Environment Forum
The Principality of Monaco, 20-22 February 2008

3rd meeting of Global Leadership for Climate Action, Principality of Monaco, February 21 2008
The 3rd meeting of Global Leadership for Climate Action was held in the Principality of Monaco on February 21, 2008 and coincided with the 10th Special Session of the United Nations Environment Program’s Governing Council /Global Ministerial Environment Forum. At its meeting, GLCA decided to focus in 2008 on technology development and cooperation, and finance as key levers to address climate change.

GLCA Co-chairs presented the recommendations of the Framework for a Post-2012 Agreement on Climate Change to government ministers and others at the UNEP Ministerial Working Dinner on Feb. 21, 2008.

—Bali Conference:
At the Bali conference, the Conference of the Parties President (Indonesia’s State Minister for the Environment) in his inaugural remarks spoke of four building blocks – mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance—the same pathways recommended by the Global Leadership for Climate Action Framework for a Post-2012 Agreement on Climate Change.  The Report of the Dialogue on Long-Term Cooperative Actions also lists these four building blocks in their report.
Visit United Nations Climate Change Conference website

—Secretary-General’s High-Level Session:
In September 2007, the UN convened a high-level session on climate change which drew top officials from over 150 nations, including 80 heads of state or government.  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it “a groundbreaking, historical event” and “a sea-change in the response to climate change.”  Following the four themes laid out by Global Leadership for Climate Action, the meeting included plenary sessions on adaptation, mitigation, technology and financing. 

Global Leadership for Climate Action--2nd Meeting of the Members and Senior Advisors
7-8 September, 2007
Berlin, Germany

G-8 2007-Gleneagles Dialogue
Third Meeting of the Energy and Environment Ministers
9-11 September, 2007
Berlin, Germany

Global Leadership for Climate Action-Presentation of Recommended Framework at the Gleneagles Dialogue
11 September, 2007
Berlin, Germany

"The Future in Our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change"
UN Secretary-General's High-Level Event on Climate Change
24 September, 2007
New York, New York

Clinton Global Initiative
26 –28 September, 2007
New York, New York

U.S. President Bush-Meeting of Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change
The White House
27-28 September, 2007
Washington, D.C.

IPCC Expert Meeting on New Scenarios
26 –28 September, 2007
The Netherlands

27th Session of the IPCC
12 –17 November, 2007
Valencia, Spain

UN Climate Change Conference--COP 13 and CMP 3
3 –14 December, 2007
Nusa Dua, Bali

  • About GLCA  ( 1 items )

    The Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) is a task force of world leaders committed to addressing climate change through international negotiations. A joint initiative of the UN Foundation and the Club of Madrid, the GLCA consists of former heads of state and government as well as leaders from business, government and civil society from more than 20 countries.

    The scientific diagnosis has been made. The time for action is now. 

    An agreement to begin negotiation to address climate change post-2012 has remained elusive. GLCA will help galvanize the international action and mobilize the political will necessary for a new international agreement on climate change. 

    What are the objectives of GLCA?

    • To mobilize political will and invigorate international negotiations toward an agreement on climate change beyond 2012.
    • To develop a framework for a new agreement and a statement of principles addressing the difficult issues in negotiating such an agreement.

    How is GLCA constituted?

    • Building on the expertise of the members of the Club of Madrid and the knowledge and expertise of the United Nations Foundation, the GLCA consists of six former heads of state, seven former heads of government, and 12 leaders from government, business and civil societies, from more than 20 countries. The GLCA is co-chaired by former Chilean President and current Club of Madrid President Ricardo Lagos, and United Nations Foundation President and former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth.

    How is GLCA going to achieve its objective?

    • The Club of Madrid and UN Foundation will draw upon their networks to secure broad and inclusive input to GLCA process in 2007 and 2008, seeking submissions from governments, business, academia and civil society.
    • A panel of Senior Advisors provides technical input and informs GLCA deliberations. It is comprised of distinguished experts from academia, government, and finance. The panel reviews drafts of GLCA papers and participates in meetings.
    • GLCA met for the first time on May 22-23 in Madrid, and discussed the issues involved in creating a new international agreement. In addition, the GLCA issued a statement to the G8+5 just prior to the June 2007 meeting in Heilgendamm, Germany, which addressed the urgent need for a climate change response.
    • Prior to the second GLCA meeting in September 2007, the Senior Advisors and other distinguished experts will address the key issues of a framework agreement during a 2-day roundtable session.
    • GLCA will meet a second time on Sept. 7-8, 2007 just prior to the Gleneagles Dialogue in Berlin, Germany. Members of GLCA will draw upon their practical experience to propose a framework that will outline policy responses to address climate change as a part of a new international agreement.

    Where will the outcome be presented?

    • GLCA Co-Chairs Ricardo Lagos and Timothy E. Wirth issued a statement to participants at the G8+5 Summit in Heilgendamm, Germany.
    • At the September 2007 Gleneagles Dialogue in Berlin, Germany, GLCA Co-Chairs will present on behalf of the GLCA, the proposed framework for an international agreement on climate change.
    • Other venues for presentations include:

    • The Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Bali in December 2007;
    • The Club of Madrid Annual Meeting, Spring 2008;
    • The March 2008 Final Meeting of the Gleneagles Dialogue in Tokyo;
    • The Asian Development Bank’s Annual Meeting, May 2008; and
    • The G8 Summit in Tokyo in 2008.

    Why Gleneagles?

    • The Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development was launched at the G8 summit in July 2005. It was conceived as a place for informal discussions outside of the UNFCCC among G8 members and key developing countries on innovative ideas and measures. While participants in the October 2006 meeting in Monterrey, Mexico demonstrated the urgency of early action to address the reality of climate change, they failed to decide on a process for reaching a new agreement.