Bloomberg Green Summit – Day 1
November 9, 2022
We convened an exclusive group of leaders and influencers who are making their mark in the fight against climate change. From utilizing new technology and innovations to mobilizing citizen and corporate engagement, we’ll hear how these trailblazers are inspiring action to usher in a new era of climate activism.
Click here to view the full program.
- Shilpan Amin, Senior Vice President & President, General Motors International
- Ahmed Al Calily, Chief Strategy & Risk Officer, Mubadala
- Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action & Finance; Co-Chair, GFANZ
- Mark Gallogly, Co-Founder & Managing Principal, Three Cairns Group
- John Goldstein, Managing Director, Head of the Sustainable Finance Group, Goldman Sachs
- John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State
- Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance
- Mohamed L. Mansour, Chairman, ManCapital LLP
- Tracey McDermott, Group Head Conduct, Financial Crime & Compliance, Standard Chartered Bank
- Daniel Mikkelsen, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
- Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All; Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
- Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization
- Derek Rozycki, Head of Responsible Investing, Mubadala
- Sebastian Steinhaeuser, Chief Strategy Officer, SAP
- Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation
- Omar Vargas, Vice President, Head of Global Public Policy, General Motors
- Abby Danzig, Senior Programming Director, Bloomberg Green & Sustainability Events
- Adeline Diab, Director of Research ESG & Thematic Investing, Bloomberg Intelligence
- Yinka Ibukun, West Africa Bureau Chief, Bloomberg
- Lauren Kiel, General Manager, Bloomberg Green
- Will Kennedy, Senior Executive Editor, Energy & Commodities, Bloomberg
- Francine Lacqua, Anchor & Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg Television
- David Malingha, East Africa Bureau Chief, Bloomberg
- John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg
- Laura Millan, Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- Akshat Rathi, Senior Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- Aaron Rutkoff, Executive Editor, Bloomberg Green
In Conversation With Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Trade may contribute to carbon emissions, but it is also a central part of the solution, according to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization. “If you have a climate event, trade is an adaptation tool. You can’t get goods and services to help your country rebound without it.” It’s also a mitigation tool, she said, advocating for trade policies. She talked about their flagship report on trade and climate that includes analysis and recommendations.
On the changing U.S. political climate post-midterm elections, and potential impacts to the climate change fight, “It means we just have to work really hard…with Congress.” She and a team have been visiting “both sides of the aisle,” and “will pound the pavement.”
What’s Next for Carbon Markets?
Nigeria has a net zero goal of 2060, said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All; Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. It is estimated to cost $1.9 trillion, and needs “everything to align” to be successful. “People just don’t understand the scope of what we’re asking these countries to do.” Voluntary carbon markets can be the way forward for Africa and the global south where many are victims of climate effects they didn’t cause. “The government needs to set the right prices and be part and parcel of that approach.”
A global carbon trust – announced just prior to the conference – and a governing council are two initiatives in process, and are needed to move forward, according to Mark Gallogly, Co-Founder & Managing Principal, Three Cairns Group. The trust would address the “plumbing” of the current voluntary carbon markets, including buying in perpetuity, which removes incentives to maintain the property. “At the same time, if something is short-dated, it allows a third party that can guarantee the performance because they can assess the quality of the underlying risk.” In between the buyer and the seller is a third party; “Planet Earth, and it needs a seat at the table.”
The New Energy Reality
“We don’t have the luxury of making the transition twice,” warned Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance. While there has been a significant increase in investment in solar this year, there is a problem; “74% of it, $200 billion, went to OECD countries in China, and only 5% went to the entire continent of Africa. This is a huge problem. It’s amazingly skewed.” For investors, the perception of risk is much higher in developing countries, “But we have to get some clean energy out there.”
“The wealthiest countries in the world have not transitioned,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL); Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, wondering how emerging nations are expected to manage it. Rising fuel prices are pushing interest in renewables, but persistent supply chain issues mean delivery of solar build parts can take months; “time we don’t have.” A goal, with the International Solar Alliance, is to establish large-scale assembly in specific parts of the world.
Mubadala Sponsor Spotlight: Responsible Investing for a Sustainable Future
“The pendulum had swung. Everyone now realizes it’s good for business,” Ahmed Al Calily, Chief Strategy & Risk Officer, Mubadala, said of responsible investing. Key is proving the return on investment. He sees the noise in the marketplace resolving, which will help. On how investors will be inspired, “They have to lean in, and it has to be done in a very methodical and measured way. Integration and harmonization of data points will go a long way to accelerate the movement.”
General Motors Sponsor Spotlight: The All-Electric Future
“Lean in and make the commitment,” advised Shilpan Amin, Senior Vice President & President, General Motors International. “Don’t wait for the future to be here before you invest in it.” He talked about partnerships and enabling each other to be successful to beat the clock, GM’s $35 billion investment with a full portfolio, and announcing at COP27 their commitment to the First Movers Coalition, “as part of scaling up the suppliers and the makers who make the commitments to capital investments and the change needed to get to carbon neutrality.”
Mohamed L. Mansour, Chairman, ManCapital LLP said everything is about partnerships. Their first, with GM in 1975, has been the pillar, along with technological advances that allowed them to develop the markets in Egypt and grow to become a $7 billion company with 60,000 employees in 100 countries. He spoke to their investments in solar and wind, bringing EVs to Egypt and building a smart city for 250,000 inhabitants. “It’s the first in the Middle East. We’re very proud to do this, because [climate change] is a challenge for humanity, and we all have to face it in the private sector.”
On policy and an electric future, Omar Vargas, Vice President, Head of Global Public Policy, General Motor said, “We have the technology. What we also need is government support.” Scaling that technology and bringing products like autonomous vehicles to market in an already heavily regulated industry requires regulatory and legislative changes. On a global level, they look for jurisdictions that enable technological development or want to attract foreign direct investment.
Who Should Pay for Climate Loss & Damage?
Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation made points about urgency and growing financial inequities. A proposed 10% tax on gas and oil producers would go toward emergency funding for countries impacted by climate change. “We are discussing initiatives that were taboo to talk about two years ago.” We are at the point where it is too difficult and costly to repair and return to some of the places destroyed by extreme weather. On the Paris Agreement, almost six years later, “Everyone now really understands it, but if you take five years to understand what you signed up for, we are lagging behind.” She called for, essentially, less talk and more action.
SAP Sponsor Spotlight: The Power of a Connected Sustainability Strategy
When it comes to sustainability data use and transparency, the biggest challenge is the lack of standardization, said Sebastian Steinhaeuser, Chief Strategy Officer, SAP. “It also needs focus so no one drowns in an ocean of data.” He laid out three sustainability challenges; how to record reliable data, what he called “the journey from averages to actuals,” how to report and comply with upcoming regulations, and taking action. “We’re on a straight path to climate hell if we don’t act fast. To me, it’s not about having a sustainability transformation. It’s about having sustainability and data being part of every business process of a company.”
What We’re Watching
Yinka Ibukun, West Africa Bureau Chief, Bloomberg described an untapped revelation for food security; an ancient grain that grows even in drought-stricken areas in Africa, is high-protein and gluten-free, and is a substitute for wheat. It could be a “grain of the future.”. “It’s been there for a millenia, but we prioritized wheat and rice.” She said she thinks it tastes like couscous, cows love it, and that, “Sometimes, the answer to our problems is right under our noses.”
Akshat Rathi, Senior Reporter, Bloomberg Green said energy prices are not as much of an accelerant for renewable use as they are forcing countries to turn to the cheapest sources. Yet, pending data on emissions increases is not expected to be significant on a global scale, “but within some countries, you will see a massive difference.” On generation, 90% of new energy built in the past 12 months have been renewables, but there’s still a stock of fossil fuels that many will rely on.
Laura Millan, Reporter, Bloomberg Green has been exploring COP27 from a wartime perspective and spending time with Ukrainian civil society groups, finding connections between the conflict and climate issues. Researchers are calling for a better accounting of greenhouse gas emissions from the war and peacetime defense operations around the world, but militaries “are very secretive.” Rough estimates put it at as much as 5% of total global emissions. “That’s more than all shipping and aviation, combined.”
In Conversation With John Kerry
With mid-term elections still being sorted, John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State only talked politics to defend President Biden’s global climate appropriation, adding that some legislators will simply not fund for anything abroad. “The bottom line is, the UN report on finance says we need to spend $2.5 to $4.5 billion, every year, for the next 30 years to affect the transition to a clean energy economy and save ourselves 1.5. That’s how you get 1.5, and we’re not anywhere near that, obviously.” On a more optimistic note, he said the U.S. is actually on a 1.5 path.
He called the methane situation, especially in China, “critical.” While they manufacture and deploy more renewables than anyone, they’re still bringing coal online. “”They’re going in opposite directions, and we just can’t afford that.”
He noted a new study that suggests climate tipping points, including the loss of ice sheets, permafrost and coral reefs, may have already been passed.
Special Session: The Next Generation of Responsible Investing
The Evolution of Sustainable Investing
Learning the need to be efficient in business operations around resilience and supply chains has been a harsh reality check, said John Goldstein, Managing Director, Head of the Sustainable Finance Group, Goldman Sachs. “This environment focuses you on what matters, and now, there’s a lot of capital competing in the space.” On investor appetite in the last 12 months, “This burns the fluff away. Charts don’t always go up and to the right. Markets are hard and macro matters.” On decarbonization, the companies who are happiest are the ones that did it five years ago. “The next best time is now.”
Breaking Down Barriers to Responsible Investing
Tracey McDermott, Group Head Conduct, Financial Crime & Compliance, Standard Chartered Bank said “It’s important to remember, when talking about emerging markets, that there are still hundreds of millions of people in the world that have no access to reliable energy, green or otherwise.” She described blended finance projects in Southeast Asia and Africa. There’s lots of activity in the space. “The real challenge is how you scale that.”
From a European perspective, Daniel Mikkelsen, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, said “Energy security and the green transition are two sides of the same coin, because large parts of Europe are fossil fuel importers on a big scale.” Current emphasis on energy security is serving to reinforce the push toward transition in a more practical way, including regulation changes. Globally, the effect is the same in many places, in others, it reinforces dependence on fossil fuels for a range of purposes.
Mobilizing further capital toward the transition is two-fold, said Derek Rozycki, Head of Responsible Investing, Mubadala. It takes action by individuals and entities like the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund. It takes hard work and collaboration, “looking at how we can work together for ecosystem-oriented approaches that are equity-led, and not necessarily DFI- led, which is where a lot of the initiatives we’ve heard over the last couple of days have been oriented.”
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