Public and private stakeholders against climate change

Paris hosted the One Planet Summit for a joint initiative of the public and private sectors on climate change

One of the major announcements made during the One Planet Summit in France was the decision of the World Bank Group to cease financing the exploration, drill and operation related to oil and gas fields, after 2019. The decision is in line with the World Bank Group’s position, “as a global multilateral development institution, continuing to transform its own operations in recognition of a rapidly changing world”. It will not impact current projects nor, in « exceptionnal circumstances », poor countries where there is a clear need to energy access. The World Bank Group is an international organisation, representing 189 member countries, providing funding and knowledge to developing countries with core missions to reduce poverty, encourage shared prosperity and promote sustainable development. That is a strong message to the international community that the world is moving on to address the challenges of climate change.

The One Planet Summit was jointly organised by the United Nations and the World Bank Group at the initiative of the French government. Taking place two years after the Paris Agreement, the summit brought together Heads of state, international leaders, citizens, representatives of non-governmental organisations and companies, to take concrete actions and to make further commitments.

Private sector plays a key role in sustainable development since decades, sometimes as the only way for entrepreneurs and engineers to innovate in the field of renewable energies. Solar Impulse is an example of a private initiative leading to decrease energy consumption and waste of natural resources. The two pilots of this aerodynamic aircraft achieved the first round-the-world solar flight, with no single drop of fuel. Bertrand Piccard is one of them and says that « Governments, companies and institutions must urgently adopt more ambitious environmental and energy policies. They should stop compromising for minimal targets, but rather should base their negotiations and objectives on the reality of what clean profitable technologies can offer today. Not only for future generations, but for the current benefit of people, industry and the planet . » Following the success of the solar flight, the Solar Impulse Foundation launched last month the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions which will select 1000 solutions that are profitable to protect the environment. The projects selected would be presented at the COP24 in 2018.

When the « house is burning » (Jacques Chirac, Johannesburg, 2002), commitments of governments, institutions, companies, citizens, start-ups and all stakeholders might be useful. However, only concrete actions could reduce damages.

A propos de Carole COMBE

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