Author: Lauren Foye, Head of Reports at Zero Carbon Academy
The One Ocean Summit, held earlier this month in France, saw a framework agreed by governments, major banks, and leading NGOs around investment in ocean related climate projects, support for existing schemes, and risk reduction mechanisms.
Source: Science ABC
Finance industry unites to aid ocean & costal focussed environmental projects
During the recent 3-day One Ocean Summit, a public-private coalition of the finance industry formed to create 'open architecture for ocean investment at scale'. This aims to help drive financial flows to coastal and ocean protection and restoration. The need for action is highlighted by the fact that at present under 1% of climate finance is invested into marine and coastal nature based solutions, according to Finextra[i]. The initiative, led by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), gathered representatives from the private sector, governments, and NGOs to advance the development of the new framework. Those participating included AXA, Bank of America, Palladium, WWF and WTW. As reported, the 3 key areas agreed were as followed:
1. “Blue Resilience Clearing House to act as a marketplace within which to match potential investments with projects and to build investment into innovative products in blue carbon as well as resilience bonds, debt-for-nature swaps and other finance mechanisms.
2. An Umbrella Facility to further support existing impact funds in this space, provide a technical assistance facility to invest in projects in development, and provide catalytic and equity finance to drive investment into what are currently viewed as higher risk areas in the ocean and coastal space, such as offshore renewables or green shipping.
3. Finally, a Risk Reduction Mechanism to develop and deploy insurance products and guarantees as the ‘risk wrappers,’ which are critical to hedging against risk as the marketplace evolves.”
In terms of monetary input, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) joined the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French, German, Italian and Spanish development banks in a “clean oceans initiative” to reduce the 9m tonnes of plastic that end up in the ocean each year, pledging €4bn of finance by 2025.
Wider summit seeks to unite international communities & commit to protecting the world’s oceans
The announcement came as part of the wider ‘One Ocean Summit’, which aims to raise the collective level of ambition of the international community on marine issues, and to translate shared responsibility regarding the ocean, into tangible commitments[ii]. Held on the 9th-11th February 2022, and convened by French president, Emmanuel Macron, the summit had been positioned as a highlight of France’s six-month EU presidency. The conference aimed to address the lack of targeted action towards pollution and environmental destruction of the world’s oceans:
“The climate has its COP (Conference of the Parties) process but there is no equivalent for the ocean, at a time when man’s relationship with the marine world has become more and more toxic, and global heating is causing extreme change.” chief organiser, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, told the Guardian[iii]
Several additional key announcements were made at the summit, including news that 30 more countries signed up to the 30x30 coalition, launched in January 2021, which aims to protect 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030. Further, half a dozen additional countries joined a “plastics economy global commitment” backed by the UN environment programme to help governments and businesses transition to a circular economy aimed at recycling or reusing 100% of all plastics.
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