COP22 Marrakech: BINGO Day, Business/Industry Support Carbon Reduction Actions

Marrakech, 12 November, 2016 – From Iowa windfarms to Delhi train networks, panels at the Business and Industry "BINGO" Day at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Marrakech, 12 November, 2016 – From Iowa windfarms to Delhi train networks, panels at the Business and Industry "BINGO" Day at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) highlighted business successes and outlined priorities for expanding future investment.

The day kicked off with COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar speaking on the importance of partnerships and technology. “We have to transform technology into real projects,” he said. “We need more commitment from companies for the transformation.”
Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun, President, La Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), pointed to Moroccan business climate initiatives. While climate change presents challenges, she said it, it also represents opportunities for Morocco’s economic community through green business. “We have amazing projects and solutions. We need training, we need capacity building,” she said. “We must bridge the technology gap. Climate change knows no boundaries.”

An example of Morocco's leadership in renewables is the Noor Power Station, African’s largest power station, which connected to the Moroccan power grid in February 2016. Noor 1, the first section at the town of Ouarzazate, provides 160 megawatts (MW) of the ultimate 580MW capacity. The Moroccan government plans to generate 42% of its energy from renewables by 2020, with plans to reach 52% by 2030.
At the “New Energy Realities” panel organized by the International Chamber of Commerce and The World Energy Council the focus was on changes brought on by the rapidly increasing interest in investment in clean energy – and the profitability of many companies. “It’s now much easier for banks to mobilize capital for green investments because of low carbon trends,” said Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Climate Finance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “There has been a 9-1 shift towards renewables.” A future challenge: 50-70% of investment required for renewable energy is in emerging markets.
For investment to grow in the low-carbon businesses, companies and investors need clear and consistent climate-related financial disclosures, said Michael Wilkins, Managing Director, Infrastructure Finance Ratings, S&P Global Ratings. Recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures are due out in Q2 2017.
The FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) will develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders.
The Task Force will consider the physical, liability and transition risks associated with climate change and what constitutes effective financial disclosures across industries. Core elements of the recommendations will include Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics and Targets.
The business plan session organized by The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Edison Electric Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council, Cathy Woollums, senior vice president, environmental services and chief environment counsel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, pointed to one of their company’s success stories: the thriving windfarm industry in Iowa. By 2019, the company expects windfarm to serve 85% its customer load – while providing land use payments to farmers.
Abdhesh Singh, executive director, electrical of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, described how innovative energy efficiencies have been built into the entire rail system, including cooling for the trains. A panel member said this week’s US Election results were unlikely to provide immediate harm to the international green business industry.
Said one panel member. “The clean energy proposition has never been more sound,” said Dawn Martin, COO of Ceres.

By: William Nana Yaw Beeko, Online Editor, Reporting From Marrakech, Morocco
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