2022 has become a new stress test for global climate action. After a difficult pandemic and a deep economic recession, now the world faces the far-reaching seismic consequences of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The war is adding a food and energy crisis to the global climate crisis, and placing additional pressure on international cooperation.
These challenges bring the risk that short-term security responses will lock in high carbon infrastructure. Alternatively, this could serve as a wake-up call on the need to decarbonise our energy systems much earlier, much faster and to shift the trillions of dollars in investment necessary to make this happen.
The fourth edition of London Climate Action Week (LCAW) will be an opportunity to assess the challenges for global climate action in this new geopolitical setting as we approach COP27. The event will bring together world-leading climate professionals and communities across London and beyond to find practical solutions to climate change. As the hosts of London Climate Action Week, E3G will be convening a series of events with a focus on the implications of the war, the new geopolitical conditions and the future of sustainable finance. How can we maintain momentum for global climate action in the face of these new challenges?
The most pressing issue is responding to the changing political circumstances in light of the war in Ukraine. Accordingly, we will be hosting an event addressing the implications for climate and energy security, which will draw on the EU and UK responses and promote energy efficiency as the key priority. We will also highlight the need to address the cost-of-living crisis and the risk of locking in high carbon trajectories from new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.
Supporting developing countries to respond to the joint global crisis we face this year will be an urgent priority. Africa needs around $2trillion of investments for reliable, sustainable, and affordable power over the next two decades. Chinese financial institutions have been major investors in African energy infrastructure over the past two decades. G7 countries are committed to scaling up renewable energy investments to support developing countries’ transition, including in Africa. But G7 initiatives have yet to deliver. One of our panels at LCAW will bring Chinese and African stakeholders to discuss how these G7 initiatives can be most successful. Moreover, we will be hosting a different event that will focus specifically on climate-resilient agriculture and food systems in Africa with a wide range of stakeholders.
Harnessing the potential of public and multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank, is also critical to providing developing countries with cheap finance and policy expertise for the implementation of their Paris Agreement pledges. We will have an event at LCAW that will focus on how MDBs can support countries to deliver better long-term strategies.
In the UK the Green Finance Strategy, expected at the end of 2022, will be the key opportunity for the UK Government to lay out its strategy for financing the net zero transition. E3G’s event on building a net zero financial sector will set benchmarks for success and discuss scaling up the investment in net zero and resilience.
It is also important to note that developing countries, which have done the least to cause the problem of climate change, are facing the most severe impacts. At LCAW, we will be discussing how the international community can build the climate and development agenda for success at COP27 – addressing the need to respond to climate impacts (loss and damage), access to finance, mobilising climate finance, and a more accessible financial system.
The G7 summit in Elmau later this month will be critical for keeping climate action on top of the multilateral agenda in this new changing context. Climate action proved to be a golden thread in international diplomacy forums such as G7 and G20 last year. But now, the world is looking to Germany, Indonesia, and Egypt to maintain this momentum by implementing their high ambition pledges and commitments. At LCAW, we will be able to know the outcomes of the Elmau summit directly from G7 governments’ officials in an E3G event co-hosted with the German Embassy to the United Kingdom.
Many more events are in this year’s LCAW programme with a much broader scope of perspectives. We hope you enjoy the wide range of topics, the depth of discussion, and the inclusivity of LCAW 2022. It is a key opportunity to engage with some of the world’s leading climate change decision-makers, activists, businesses and thinkers.