The Green Opportunity in Energy Security

LSEG’s Group Head of Sustainability Jane Goodland speaks to Sagarika Chatterjee, GFANZ/UN Climate Change Champion’s Finance Lead, to discuss the roadmap towards net zero and the critical role that governments and the finance community have to play in climate action.

 The conversation focuses on the broader sustainability issues around fossil fuels, and how energy security provides an opportunity to scale up clean energy investment. With further insights into effective target setting, reporting, and how this to be achieved, the discussion sets the scene for 2022 being the year of net-zero implementation.

 The Net Zero Conversations series was filmed at the Net Zero Delivery Summit, hosted by the City of London Corporation in association with the COP 26 UK Presidency 2022 and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

Sagarika, welcome and thank you for joiningus on Net Zero Conversations.Let's start by hearing a little bit aboutyour role at the United Nations Climate Champions.Can you tell us a bit about that?So back at COP21,the parties or the governments all inthe Paris Agreement createdthe role of the high level champions,and that's the team that I'm working for at the UN.And the aim of the role ofthe champions is to basically mobiliseeveryone who isn't a government's if everyone inthe private sector to take climate action. Why?Because we need everyone involved.The other purpose of the role is to alsoact as a bridge between parties tothe Paris Agreement and everyone that's inthe non-state actor community.So the champion's role involves convening cities, states,regions, civil society, youth, business,and the finance sector to takeclimate action and then demonstrate togovernments how much action and ambition there is withinthe non-state actor community tofurther encourage ambition from governments.And one thing that I'm doing in my role is I'm part ofthe secretariat forthe Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.So this was launched about a year ago, last year,and it's a collaboration betweenthe high-level champions andMark Carney and Mike Bloomberg.And you mentioned thatthere's lots and lots of stakeholders andactors in the fight against climate change as it were.There's lots of pledges thatwe're seeing and commitments being made.But the one thing that often people kind of arecurious about is how credible arethese plans and commitments and actuallyare they really going to translate into real action?It's a critical pointfor this year and I think it will be forevery year as we seethe plethora of pledges coming through.So one thing that the champions have been doing isconvening a UN campaign called the Race to Zero.This sets the bar really high forany non-state actors takingclimate action. To join the Race to Zero,you need to be part of an initiative that iscommitting to setting a net-zero target.And there's also criteria andthe basic parameters of the criteria are around the four P's.So they are pledge,plan, proceed and publish.In terms of pledge,the criteria there are very clear,and they involve making a pledge atthe highest level of the organisation,specifically around net-zero by 2050 at the latest,consistent with 1.5. In the plan part,the really critical bit of the criteria is thatthis is about near-term targets.So the targets need to be not just set out for 2050,but for the next five years.And then the proceed part about is executionand actually doing what you said you were going todo and then on publish,this is about annual reporting onprogress and how you aredelivering on the promise that you made.But the key bits here for this year are aroundthe target setting and how credible the targets are.So as part of the Race to Zeroand the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero,the champions helped conveneNet Zero Asset Managers Alliance,Net Zero Banking Alliance,Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance,Net Zero Investment Consultants andNet Zero Financial Service Providers.And many of those members ofthose alliances are due to set targets this year.So some of the things we look forwardto seeing in the targets to provethe credibility and to continue deserving the trust ofbroader stakeholders, are aroundthe quality of the targets.So these need to be based onscience and they should clearly setout what scenarios have been used to inform the targets.They should also be near term,as I mentioned, covering five yearsideally, and they should cover as many scopes as possible.So of course, scope one and scope two,and ideally as much as possible of scope three emissions,although that is a very challenging area.In addition to that, my suggestion is,is that these cover new fossil fuelsand what the policies are towards those.And then also transparent reporting.So reporting every 12 months on howthese targets are beingachieved and what progress is being seen.And so when we think about net-zero,I think it's easy to think that this isjust about getting emissions down.But is that true or are thereother wider sustainability issues thatreally we need to think about along the way?I think it has to be aboutthe wider sustainability issues.And we can only get to net zero if we address all ofthese in a really holistic way. So for exampleon the social side,we have to tackle rising energy prices for households.We have to track, tackle energy poverty,and we have to include workers andcommunities that are going to be impacted.And much of that is the work that'sunderway on just transition.But in addition to that,we also need to tacklethe broader issues of land use and nature.These are completely interrelated.We can't do climate andnet-zero without tackling nature hand-in-hand.And then finally, we have to wake up tothe realities of the climate crisis that we facetoday and the physical impacts ofclimate change that are alreadybeing felt in developing countries,in low-lying islands, but also indeveloped countries as well and in key financial centres.And that means that the finance sector needs to get togrips with not only social issues, not only nature,but also with adaptationto climate change, assessing risks,and then working withothers to scale up the finance that's needed.So as we move towards COP27,what practical steps and actions canfinancial institutions andreal economy companies be taking now?Time is very limited.Priorities have to be made.And the four areas that I think we reallyneed to focus on are firstly,understanding what are the implications of net-zero andspecifically what I suggest forcorporates and for financial institutions islooking at sectoral pathways,and there's some excellent analysisthat's already out there from the IEA,also emerging from other sources as well.And then secondly, having a clear focus on settinga quality credible net-zero targetthat can be delivered on,accompanied with a plan for how this will be achieved.Thirdly, I think this COP is going tobe the developing country COP, the AfricaCOP, so for financial institutions and corporatesto think about for the future opportunities.where could they be,what innovation is alreadyhappening in the continent of Africa,how could these be further de-risked and scaled up?And then finally, a focuson joining the dots between climate and nature.So we have to tackle curbingdeforestation and the opportunityset that there is in nature-based solutions.One final question, if you don't mind, in your view,what's the one thing we need to do collectivelyto make COP27 a success,We need to do net-zero implementation.That's the job of financial institutionswho have made net-zero commitments.I was speaking with my daughter the otherday and she said to me,mommy, why does it matter if theydon't deliver on the net-zero commitments?Because they can just say in 2023,well, we're really sorry,we didn't make our net-zero promises,but we're going to do it next year.And then I said to her, well, what do youthink's going to happen next year?And she said, well, they can say next year in 2024,oh we're so sorry, we weregoing to make our net-zero commitments,but we didn't quite make it,but we're going to do it next year.And then she turned to me and she said,but mommy, aren't we going to run out of time?I think she's right. We are. That's why we've got to make this year,the year of net-zero implementation.Thanks very much.

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