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Blog Posts: finance

  • The Price Is Wrong: New Report Calls for Fossil Fuel Prices that Reflect Environmental Costs

    A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice, argues that the costs of coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fail to account for these fuels’ environmental and social impacts—such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic deaths.

    Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.

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  • Closing the Renewable Energy Investment Gap

    There’s a growing gap between current investment in low-carbon energy and what’s needed to meet world demand while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is there’s sufficient capital and investor interest to close much of this gap.

    However, policies that encourage market certainty and level the playing field between different energy sources are needed to attract the volume of investment required, according to a special International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the World Energy Investment Outlook, released this month.

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  • Green Climate Fund Board Looks to Accreditation Process: Can it Strike the Right Balance?

    The Green Climate Fund is holding its 7th Board meeting in Songdo, Korea this week. One of the most difficult questions that the GCF Board will grapple with is how entities will become “accredited” to receive GCF funds to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.

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  • Where Are Chinese Investments in Africa Headed?

    While investment from more developed countries has remained about the same in recent years, China’s flows to Africa have increased significantly, fueling excitement about development and concern about the effects on the environment and communities.

    As China’s impact increases, it can take steps now to make sure it sets a new standard for responsible lending and investment in Africa.

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  • Q&A with Dr. Karin Kemper: How Is the World Bank Addressing Climate Change?

    The World Bank consistently makes the link between poverty elimination and the need to curb climate change. Yet a WRI analysis shows that of the investments the World Bank financed between 2012 and 2013, only one-quarter addressed climate change risks.

    Dr. Karin Kemper, director of climate policy and finance in the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Climate Group, shares the Bank's current and future plans to more fully incorporate climate change mitigation and adaptation into its international development agenda.

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  • The Trillion Dollar Question: Where Does Transport Investment Come From?

    New analysis quantifies the total annual transport capital investment around the world. The Trillion Dollar Question: Tracking Public and Private Investment in Transport working paper finds that the global transport investment is between US$1.4 and US$2.1 trillion each year, enough to fund the capital budget of New York’s subway 88 times.

    This finding and others have significant implications—both for the cities of today and for investing in the future cities we want.

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  • 5 Things We Learned in 2013 that Could Move the Needle on Sustainability

    Two and a half millennia ago, Plato announced that “Human behavior flows from three things: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Unfortunately, our human and corporate behavior on climate change is not even close to where it needs to be. But if the great philosopher was right (and he usually was), 2013 may have been a game changer.

    The big news from 2013 came from gains in knowledge. New tools and research are opening our understanding much wider than before. But will we act on this? Knowledge can spur action, but this path is not guaranteed.

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  • A Business Case for Building Climate Resilience

    This is the final installment of WRI’s blog series, Adaptation and the Private Sector. Each post explores ways to engage the private sector in helping vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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  • Is Adaptation Short-Changed? The Imbalance in Climate Finance Commitments

    One of the biggest successes from 2009’s COP 15 conference was securing funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. Donor nations agreed to “provide new and additional resources […] approaching $30 billion for the period 2010–2012, with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation.” They also committed to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020.  
    

    But the agreement left a key question unresolved: how should funding be “balanced” between adaptation and mitigation? Should the funding balance be 50/50 between adaptation and mitigation or should it based on each country’s needs? Should funding include both private and public sector investment? These are some of the questions that negotiators will need to address during COP 19 in Warsaw.

    But whatever they decide as being a “balanced commitment,” one thing is clear: finance for adaptation needs to increase in the coming years.

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  • The Green Climate Fund: From Inception to Launch

    A year after its inaugural meeting, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) left its fifth meeting in Paris earlier this month with a collective sense of urgency. The GCF is expected to become the main vehicle for disbursing climate finance to developing nations, so the decisions made at this most recent meeting significantly impact the future of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Encouragingly, Board members stepped up to the important task before them, making progress across several key issues. Their decisions made it clear: The GCF’s inception phase (referred to officially as "the interim period") is over—the focus now is on funding it and launching its operations.

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