A major breakthrough is possible when the United Nations climate summit convenes in Paris in two weeks, World Bank vice president and special climate envoy Rachel Kyte told an audience in Boston last week.
“We’re at a very different position than we were at Copenhagen,” site of a failed attempt at a global climate agreement in 2009. “We’re more on track for a pivot, not a pirouette,” she said.
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Kyte cited a half-dozen reasons for optimism, including the end of climate denial, economy-wide concern with climate risk, demands for action from global investors, strong carbon commitments from more than 145 countries, and growing momentum for carbon pricing. Her list of barriers to climate action included fossil fuel subsidies, as well as “silly politics” that block political action in national capitals like Washington, DC.
She challenged institutional investors for refusing to “invest south of the Alps” in their search for clean energy projects, even though some developing countries are posting double-digit annual growth. “Morocco is just as safe a market as Spain,” she said, but investment “isn’t moving as fast as it should be.”
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