COP26: 'SA should make commitments and access huge green funding opportunities'
The United Nations' 26th climate change conference kicks off this weekend (31 October) in Glasgow, Scotland.
COP26 (Climate Change Conference of the Parties) will bring countries together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.
"Not since COP21 in 2015 - the meeting that produced the Paris Accord - have we seen such hope on global agreements and commitments around climate change" says James Formby, CEO of Rand Merchant Bank (RMB).
He notes that there's increasing competition to access the financial flows from countries to support the ‘Just Transition’ - moving to a more sustainable economy in a way that's fair to everyone.
The RMB CEO says it's essential that South Africa's delegation presents a unified and considered position at COP26.
As the world’s 13th highest carbon emitter, and the highest emitter in Africa, South Africa will come under the spotlight. But the attention is also an opportunity to present the country as a leader in the transition to a greener economy.James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
Bruce Whitfield interviews Formby on The Money Show.
The RMB CEO predicts that there will be a strong focus on climate financing both at government level and from private concerns.
I think a lot of this conference is going to be about the money... both at a governmental level from developed to developing countries and also unlocking enormous quantities of private finance.James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
There's been this annual commitment of $100 billion of climate finance from developed markets to developing markets, but I guess you could say there were some short arms and long pockets... it's been underfunded over recent years...James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
Formby sees the US return to the Paris Agreement under the Biden administration as a very positive sign.
He also notes that South Africa's large corporate emitters are "saying the right things".
Obviously the US plays a key signalling role for the rest of the world, but we're also seeing how many countries around the world are also making commitments around 'net zero' to 2050.James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
That's one of the things I hope South Africa is also prepared to do as the delegation heads off to COP.James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
[We need to take] a unified and clear message as a country that we are really committed to this net zero by 2050. Large emitters like Sasol and Eskom - Sasol's made some very public commitments; Eskom is talking about the Just Energy Transition... Banks are doing likewise...James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
It's important that we don't have mixed messaging from government here... residual commitments to coal... We need to be bold and make the commitments the world expects us to make... There's talk of taxes into the EU for example for big emitting countries...James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
I hope in return the rest of the world's developed countries are prepared to commit funding for us to help, for example, the just energy transition of Eskom. We've got a really unique opportunity for coal-fired power stations that all need to be pretty much closed in the next 16 years (except for Medupi and Kusile)... to pivot and change our energy source to renewables, to gas...James Formby, CEO - Rand Merchant Bank
Listen to the interview with Formby below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : COP26: 'SA should make commitments and access huge green funding opportunities'
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