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Editor’s note: there’s a hole in my bucket

As long as money goes into fossil fuels, renewable energy spending is ‘like filling a leaky bucket’, says the OCI’s Laurie van der Burg © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
As long as money goes into fossil fuels, renewable energy spending is ‘like filling a leaky bucket’, says the OCI’s Laurie van der Burg © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

Clean energy spending continues to reach record levels, confirms the International Energy Agency in its latest report. Yet, fossil fuel investment also continues at pace and the lack of money going into poorer countries to aid them with their energy transition remains a live issue. 

As long as money goes into fossil fuels, renewable energy spending is “like filling a leaky bucket”, says Laurie van der Burg, public finance lead with advocacy group Oil Change International, reports Florence.

Meanwhile, former Bank of England governor Mark Carney is urging the next UK government to endorse the International Sustainability Standards Board’s sustainability disclosure standards, or risk falling behind other countries, writes Alex. Carney is also calling for climate change to be reinstated as a priority for the UK’s financial authorities, which include the BoE and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Last year, chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt removed climate change from a list of BoE priorities — a move shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has pledged to reverse if Labour wins the general election.

“Over the past couple of years, the Bank of England and the regulatory approach to how we can green finance has fallen behind other parts of the world like the European Central Bank. Back in 2021, the Bank of England was leading in this field, and so it’s a real shame we’ve had this setback,” says Lydia Preig, head of economics at think-tank the New Economics Foundation.

Elsewhere, the European Securities and Markets Authority is urging the European Commission to “swiftly adopt” proposed revisions to the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation that would include a greater role for technology in greenwashing supervision, writes Alex.

However, as Luxembourg-based investment funds lawyer Cédric Danois says: “It remains to be seen how the commission will react to those reviews following the European elections,” which kick off across the EU today and will run until Sunday. The commission has still to endorse the revised regulatory technical standards and could propose other amendments or reduce the number of tabled revisions, Danois suggests.

Finally, a report by UN-backed economists concludes nature investments of $7.4tn between now and 2030 would generate $152tn in return, or $20 for every dollar spent, helping to boost the finance needed to protect the earth’s natural resources and meet nature-related Sustainable Development Goals. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have, in many instances, slowed or reversed progress towards meeting the SDGs, the study concludes that protecting and maintaining natural ecosystems provides the highest return on investment. 

The global annual biodiversity financing gap is a whopping $700bn, estimates the Paulson Institute think-tank, yet failure to protect and restore nature, leading to the collapse of ecosystem services, would lead to annual losses estimated by the World Bank to reach $2.7tn by 2030.

Until tomorrow,

Philippa

Philippa Nuttall is the editor of Sustainable Views 

A service from the Financial Times