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Top Sustainability News #3

Alexandre Risser
You don't want to miss out on the latest news related to carbon markets and sustainable development. Find out our Top Sustainability News! 

Sustainable investments hit record highs in 2020—and they’re earning good returns

To efficiently fight global warming, every actor should promote change, including the financial sector. Green finance is growing! 
2020 marks a new record for sustainable investments, with more than $60 billion in new investments, double the record set in 2019. Sustainable investments are getting increasingly attractive and have succeeded by outperforming conventional funds and indexes on average. This turnover shows investors that they can have both financial returns and positive environmental impacts. They don’t have to sacrifice their values to get higher returns.  We expect this trend to grow, especially due to the fact that we are facing and will continue to face a climate crisis. Progressively, switching conventional finance to sustainable finance may significantly impact the development of our society by promoting initiatives and technologies that are more resilient to climate change. 

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We count on India for its contribution to multilateralism as a force for good’: top UN official

Recently, we shared Xi Jinping’s pledge to make China net-zero by 2030, but what are other large countries doing? 
As the third biggest CO2  emitter, India also has a significant role in the fight against climate change. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has declared that India is already on the track to go beyond its National Determined Contribution (NDC) linked to its commitment with the Paris Agreement. Over the last few years, India has already made significant progress in switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. As one of the largest countries in the world, India has a big audience and echoes other developing countries, especially during international environmental negotiations. Through the development of green energy, India aligned its interest to be both more autonomous for its energy supply and also match its net-zero target. The upcoming COP in Glasgow could have a significant impact if the biggest countries can align themselves on ambitious targets. 

Do the world's forests absorb or emit CO2?

A recent publication in the Nature Climate Change journal highlights that beyond capturing carbon, forests are also an important source of emissions. 
From 2001 to 2019, forests have emitted half of the emissions they have captured. They have emitted 8.1 billion tonnes of CO2, while absorbing 16 billion tonnes of CO2. And this situation is dramatically changing! Deforestation made by anthropogenic activities is progressively switching forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources. For example, from 2001 to 2019, the Amazon rainforest absorbed 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2, but emitted 1.1 billion tonnes. If this trend persists, it could become a source of emissions by 2030, like forests from South East Asia that are already emitting more emissions than they capture. It is important to protect existing forests from deforestation. Check our recent article on REDD+ projects and their potential to protect existing forests!  

"Climate bill: a battle of expertise on the ambition of the text"

Here is the latest regarding the French government’s conviction for “ecological damage.” The ecological transition minister, Barbara Pompili, has presented a new legislation the 10th of February, which holds France accountable to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and reinforces the government’s sustainability strategy. However, this legislation is already dividing different stakeholders. Environmental NGOs and civil society are worried about the lack of this new bill’s ambition to reduce France’s emissions. Supported by a report from BCG, the government confirms that the current strategy and the implementation of this new bill will allow France to meet its climate objectives, of cutting down emissions by 50%, if all measures are applied. For the moment economic actors have been less involved and have yet expressed their recommendations regarding this new announcement. 
What’s next? The proposed legislation will be debated in parliament starting in March and voted on by September…

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Article written by Alexandre Risser