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Editor’s note: VCMs, trade and climate finance

Workman installing solar panels
US climate envoy John Kerry reiterated his support for VCMs at the Paris summit (Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP Photo))


The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter.

Dear Reader,

Today on the menu we have new coverage of the New Global Financing Pact summit, in Paris, focusing on carbon markets and on the still poorly addressed interactions between trade and climate.

Our readers won’t be surprised to hear that US climate envoy John Kerry reiterated his support for the voluntary carbon markets, which, although having witnessed “some abuses”, remain a key component of the green transition given the lack of sufficient public funding available. Philippa, who watched his speech, found it “barnstorming”.

You’ll find more in her article, while here are some useful links to our past VCM coverage: key figures, controversy, and overarching concerns – as well as hopes – for this space. We also tackled the issue in a podcast episode, if you prefer to listen to, rather than read about, the criticism surrounding carbon offsets.

Trade was also on the Paris summit agenda, though perhaps not discussed as much as the World Trade Organization’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would have wanted. She called for the “reglobalisation” of trade, where developing economies are “included in the diversification of supply chains and have the policy space to grow and industrialise”. This will be crucial to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, she said.

You’ll find out more on this in the piece, where you will also read about a proposed global shipping levy (which we will continue to monitor) and post-summit expectations – including new World Bank president Ajay Banga’s role in driving the transformation of development finance to better serve the green transition.

The Paris summit did bring a number of announcements too, including the rechannelling of funds to fulfil the unmet commitment of providing $100bn a year in climate finance for developing countries.Lastly, as political and finance leaders gathered in the French capital, the International Energy Agency published a report alongside the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, noting that emerging markets and developing economies will need to see a trebling in annual clean energy investment to at least $2.2tn by the early 2030s.

Until tomorrow,


Silvia Pavoni is the editor of Sustainable Views

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