Over Fifty Heads of State joined the close to four thousand participants at the Seine Musicale site in Paris yesterday to chart new strategies of funding climate action.
The Seine Musicale site provided the setting yesterday 12 December, 2017 in Paris for President Paul Biya and his peers to take the appropriate decisions to reduce green house gases by two degrees centigrade, and raise the required finances to fill the vacuum created by the withdrawal of the United States.
Before the arrival of the Heads of State and Heads of International Organisations, panellists of the One Planet Summit had done the necessary groundwork. The day’s events rumbled into action as early as eight o’clock with the arrival of participants. After the welcome address, members of Panel One went straight into debates. The core subject on the table was «Scaling up financing for climate action».
As the principal preoccupation of the summit after the departure of the United States, funding the battle against Climate Change requires sacrifice and imagination. Panel Two delved on «greener finance for a sustainable economy». The twin topics for Panel One and two pegged on finances drew specific interest from the World Bank group and numerous multinationals invited to the Summit.
The acceleration of local and regional climate action was the theme handled by Panel three. Individual countries and regional groupings unravelled their blue-prints of Climate action. Cameroon and the Central African sub-region had much to contribute here as the deforestation of the Congo basin and the shrinking of Lake Chad raises concern. Panel four examined the strengthening of Public policy for ecological and inclusive transition.
The plenary session later in the afternoon coincided with the arrival of fifty Heads of State, the United Nations Secretary General and the President of the World Bank group. After a reception at the Elysée hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron, the Heads of State came over to the Seine Musicale site on a boat, boarded at the Alexandre III port.
The plenary session had to do with a re-gathering of Panels and the presentation of major announcements for each topic, before the closing ceremony proper. Speeches of world leaders and personalities were also part of the second segment of the Summit. The presentation of innovative projects during the panel debates depicted the global resolve to move towards the low carbon economy and adaptation to climate change.
At the end of the re-gathering of the panels, it was evident that the mobilisation of public funding and green private finance and also procedures to support the energy transition of territories was the axis around which all revolved in the One Planet Summit. Organised in a context marked by the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, yesterday’s Summit strove to take new actions in favour of the climate, particularly in the financial domain.
Mobilising funding towards low carbon and climate adaptation projects emerged forcefully during panel discussions. In this context, public finance according to panellists has a key role to play specifically in supporting the elaboration of long term climate policies and leverage private finance. Development finance institutions are also said to have the capacity to shift financial flows towards a low carbon economy, aligned with the Paris Agreement objectives.
The development of new financing instruments to support the acceleration of the reduction of green house gas emissions and adaptation to Climate Change was among the resolutions tabled during the Summit. Encouraging greater collaboration between public and private sectors and between the different levels of government to ensure better alignment of climate actions and strategies was also seen as a positive way forward.
The role of government in ensuring that the objectives of the Paris Agreement come to fruition was also underlined. Panellists resolved that public policies must send strong economic and political signals so that all actors change their production and consumption patterns towards low carbon solutions.