Something significant is happening in the desert in Egypt as countries meet at COP27 , the United Nations summit on climate change. Despite frustrating sclerosis in the negotiating halls, the pathway forward for ramping up climate finance to help low-income countries adapt to climate change and transition to clean energy is becoming clearer. I spent a large part of my career working on international finance at the World Bank and the United Nations and now advise public development and private funds and teach climate diplomacy focusing on finance. Climate finance has been one of the thorniest issues in global climate negotiations for decades, but I’m seeing four promising signs of progress at COP27.

Getting to net zero – without greenwashing

First, the goal – getting the world to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to stop global warming – is clearer. The last climate conference, COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, nearly fell apart over frustration that international finance wasn’t flowing to developing countries and that corporations and financial institutions were greenwashing – making claims they couldn’t back up. One year on, something is stirring.

In 2021, the financial sector arrived at COP26 in full force for the first time. Private banks, insurers and institutional investors representing US$130 trillion said they would align their investments with the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – a pledge to net zero. That would increase […]

Image : AP Photo/Peter Dejong