September 2019    
This is not a drill: the real economy responds to the climate crisis 

Dear reader,

Net Zero is the new normal. This is what has to be decisively established starting Monday at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and brought home by COP26 in 2020. 

There’s been a dramatic shift in the political landscape over the past two years, as climate impacts are affecting communities everywhere. People are taking to the streets realising there can be no security or prosperity anywhere if we do not act now. Eighteen of the hottest years ever recorded have occurred in the last two decades. Now we have eighteen months to change the political conversation around climate ambition. The gap remains between what the science says is necessary, what the people taking to the streets are demanding, and the actions global leaders are prepared to commit to. How are we going to close this gap?

In this month’s newsletter, Shane Tomlinson examines the shifting geopolitics of climate change, unpacking how domestic dynamics in the EU, US and China may have chilled enthusiasm, yet there remains significant potential ahead of COP26 next year. Then Kate Levick explains how looking beyond the falling costs of technology, toward new financial rules and norms could be a potential game-changer. Next Larissa Gross and Pedro Guertler explore how climate-friendly cooling is the new hot topic, with crucial work lead by the new Cool Coalition. Finally, Chris Littlecott sheds light on the Secretary-General’s call to curtail coal use and stop the construction of new coal plants by 2020.

The political economy argument for phasing out coal and gas to invest in greener development is growing steadily. Further announcements from investors and insurers that they are withdrawing from fossil fuel assets are anticipated for next week, adding to the drumbeat. That reality comes into sharper focus with talk of using trade deals and border adjustments to accelerate the zero carbon transition. Banks are stress testing their exposure to see who will be left holding the bag, while the IMF signals that it likely will not include coal loans from China in future stabilisation packages. It is these signals with real economy reforms and national security concerns that will reshape geopolitics and the space for action at global summits.

Sooner or later the calls for ambition from the streets and in boardrooms, in City Halls, trading floors and shop floors will eventually change perceptions of national interest and unlock greater climate ambition. If Net Zero is not the new normal by Monday, it soon will be.

Thanks for reading,

Claire Healy
Programme Director; Climate Diplomacy, Risk and Security

Globes Blog — 20 September 2019
The Geopolitics of Climate Change
by Shane Tomlinson
The last decade has seen climate change move from a taker of geopolitics to a shaper. In many ways, the UN Secretary-General's Climate Action Summit marks a culmination of this shift. How can we best use it to increase climate ambition around the globe?

green finance Blog — 20 September 2019
High expectations set for action on sustainable finance
by Kate Levick
A number of announcements on sustainable finance are expected to come out next week in New York. With so many initiatives already in train, does the world need another international initiative on sustainable finance? Read on to find out.

Beijing ac by pedro guertler Blog — 20 September 2019
Action on Cooling Heats Up
by Larissa Gross, Pedro Guertler
Action is the watchword this week in New York and the Cool Coalition is delivering with a coordinated surge of activity on efficient, climate-friendly cooling from a broad range of actors and sectors across the globe around the UNSG Climate Action Summit. The challenge now: how to leverage cooperation for continued progress at COP25 and beyond?

Antonio Guterres Blog — 20 September 2019
Overcoming inertia: Guterres has kickstarted the great global coal transition
by Chris Littlecott
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call to action on coal over recent months has kickstarted the great global coal transition. We expect to see it take shape over the next week in New York and then gather pace over the coming months and years.

Featured document
 Accelerating the Coal-To-Clean Transition in Portugal and Spain
Briefing Paper — by Artur Patuleia, Chris Littlecott
E3G in the Media, Events and Speaking
Die britischen Kampagnen zur Klimapolitik - Lessons Learned und Impulse für die deutsche Klima-Debat
23 September 2019
Jennifer Tollmann is quoted by Climate Home News on upcoming UN Climate Summit
19 September 2019
Chris Littlecott is quoted in Financial Times on UN Climate Action Summit
18 September 2019
Luca Bergamaschi is quoted by Climate Home News on next week’s UN Climate Action Summit
17 September 2019

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