Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
7Jul/210

Reports: Johnson to push for ‘Green Marshall Plan’ at G7 Summit

Reports: Johnson to push for 'Green Marshall Plan' at G7 Summit

UK government to try and structure support for new Clean Green Initiative to fund developing world climate activities, but beholders advise intention asks suitable fund

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to call on G7 managers to back an bold new plan to fund low-grade carbon infrastructure and nature-based campaigns in developing countries, modelled on the post-war Marshall Plan which helped rebuild Europe in the wake of World War Two.

The Times reported this morning that the UK government is working on plans for a "clean lettuce initiative", which the Prime Minister hopes to present to his fellow G7 presidents at this week's Summit in Cornwall having already discussed the idea with US President Joe Biden.

Johnson is understood to have instructed the Foreign office, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Treasury to develop a range of ideas to put to world leaders in Cornwall that could help deliver on the Paris Agreement pledge to mobilise at least $100 bn a year of environment funding for poorer nations and thus boost the chances of a successful deal at this autumn's COP2 6 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Developing societies have repeatedly warned that the high profile climate talks could resolve in standstill unless richer countries do more to deliver the $100 bn target, which remains one of the cornerstones of the Paris Agreement.

As such, the UK government is said to be working on plans for a new multibillion-pound green development bank that could both directly money low-pitched carbon infrastructure projects across Asia, Africa, and South America, and subsidize private investment.

"One of the key things is to de-risk these projects for investors, " one Whitehall source told The Times. "At the moment there is a pipeline of projects but countries are struggling to finance them. If the West underwrote that risk you'd be in a position to unlock some very serious investment."

The hope is that the G7 Summit could back the design in principle, with more detailed information then finalised before COP2 6 in November.

However, commentators warned that without serious funding commitments project proposals could speedily prove counter-productive.

The Times was pointed out that the Treasury is reluctant to approve any new funding commitments before this autumn's Spending Review. Meanwhile, the government is this week facing fierce criticism over its attempts to call on other G7 countries to increase climate funding commitments at the same time as it is trimming its own Overseas Development Aid( ODA) budget in a breach of its own manifesto commitments.

One government source told the paper that that unless Johnson overruled Chancellor Rishi Sunak there was a risk that its own initiative would prove counterproductive. "The critical factor at COP2 6 is going to be to get the so-called global south to put pressure on middle-income countries such as India, China and Brazil and not allow them to slow the process of reaching world cyberspace zero, " they said. "To do that, the West needs to come up with a meaningful bundle of support that includes some pretty serious amounts of fund. Repurposing some existing development aid simply isn't going to cut it."

There are also concerns that without a serious uptick in environment fund, the G7 nations would be in danger of being outmanoeuvred by the Chinese government, which has cleared the funding of low-toned carbon infrastructure in developing nations a key timber of its high profile belt and road strategy.

"The government is going to need to made its coin where its mouth is, " another source told The Times. "Clearly existing proliferation funding canals would not in any way present a significant alternative to a Chinese government arriving with a financed vitality job as an render ... If there is no new money this will looks just like a highly hollow segment of politics and could be counterproductive in terms of getting an daring agreement at COP2 6. "

The notes were resonated by guiding sees of the UN climate talks speaking yesterday at a briefing hosted by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

Graca Machel, lieutenant chairman of the Elders, warned that more than 10 times after the initial $100 bn a year funding promise was made at the Copenhagen Summit "we are still sitting here talking about the need to meet it".

"And 10 years later, the impacts of climate change have increased tremendously, asset is decline, aid is being cut, and the devastate ramifications of COVID-1 9 are exacerbating differences across the globe, " he computed. "It is not too much to ask for the G7 to meet its obligations and take up its responsibilities towards the Global South."

Rachel Kyte, Dean of The Fletcher School at Tuft University, was pointed out that while last week's meeting of G7 Finance Ministers had delivered fresh support for mandatory climate risk reporting and a brand-new crackdown on corporate tariff escape it had "punted the critical questions" on environment funding on to this week's Leaders' Summit.

"It was almost as if the Finance Ministers were talking to somebody else about what needs to happen - more it is them, " she said. "So the question that I actually consider for the Leaders' Summit is: if not the G7 then who, and if not now, then when? "

Similarly, Peter Betts, the onetime guide negotiator for the EU at UN climate talks and now an accompany chap at Chatham House, warned that the government's controversial ODA slashes is likely to prejudice its negotiating power in the run up to COP2 6.

"The voice of susceptible countries is most important at COPs, " he asked. "The UK, as the Presidency, will need their help, corroborate and confidence. If it doesn't have that it is going to be much harder to pull this COP off as a success ... I dread[ the ODA cut] is diminishing and undercutting the UK's credibility to push others to do more to cut their emissions and to increase their environment finance."

In relevant information, the government today announced a successful meeting of G7 Environment and Climate Ministers had self-assured a further boost to the UK co-led '3 0by30' initiative, which aims to ensure 30 per cent of the world's land and oceans are protected for nature by 2030.

The government said that 80 countries were now backing the Global Ocean Alliance and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which aim to protect at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030.

Defra likewise differentiated World Ocean Day by confirming plans for a brand-new pilot scheme to designate marine sites in England as 'Highly Protected Marine Areas'( HPMAs ), which would censor all activities that could have a damaging effect on wildlife or marine habitats.

"The UK is a global leader in marine defence, and "we ii" passing the route internationally to deliver healthful and sustained seas, " said Environment Secretary George Eustice. "We must strike a balance in supporting sustainable industries while increasing shields for our seas to ensure a healthful, resilient and diverse marine ecosystem and we will work with others as we develop future protections."

The launch of the brand-new pilot programme was welcomed by Joan Edwards, lead of programme and public things at The Wildlife Trusts, who was pointed out that the new type of marine protection being pioneered by the UK would establish a "gold standard for rewilding parts of the sea".

"It's a phenomenal step-forward, one which The Wildlife Trusts and over 10,000 of our advocates have been waiting for - we're absolutely delighted, " she said. "The removal of all damaging activities - from fishing and trawling to construction - has never been attempted in UK irrigates before. This is an historic moment and we're certain that HPMAs will help our oceans become healthier and that cheapened underwater environments will be better able to recover."

Read more: businessgreen.com

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