One Planet Summit

               Written by Harold Opdenbosch

Last Tuesday, on December 12th, exactly two years after the Paris Agreement of COP21, the One Planet Summit took place. Co-organized by France, the United Nations and the World Bank, this International summit aimed to accelerate discussions on climate. Don’t worry if you missed it, we are here to keep you informed.

This conference was the very first initiated by Emmanuel Macron who clearly acted as the conductor of the event. Macron may now be endorsing the role of « Mister climate », although he did not speak much about the environment during his presidential campaign. However, in front of sixty heads of state, governments, and numerous personalities of the economic and environmental world, from Bill Gates and Leonardo Di Caprio to Theresa May, he did not hesitate to dramatize the climate issue: « we are losing the battle », said Macron during his speech.

After the unilateral withdrawal of the United States of America from the Paris agreement, the message conveyed by the One Planet Summit was therefore much needed and very clear: do more, faster and go beyond diplomacy. 

Governments but also the private sector with its actors of finance, entrepreneurs, bankers, etc. must accordingly take responsibility because it is indeed the money that is the sinews of war in the fight against global warming. Thus, finance was in the heart of the debates during the summit.   

There were many speeches given and many climate change policies revealed by leaders and organisations during the summit. For instance, a coalition of sovereign wealth funds bringing together Norway and several Gulf States is committed to greening their wallets. 

Among others, the World Bank also pledged to stop financing gas and oil projects beyond 2019.

But what we truly can remember from this One Planet Summit is that leaders are responding to the challenge of transitioning to a low carbon future through real actions. Also all the statements presented last Tuesday are aiming to finally reconcile economy and ecology. 

Don’t forget that climate change can be fought on so many levels and that leaders decisions are as important as small changes in someone’s habits. You can start by joining the WAW movement!

 

- Harold Opdenbosch

 

Manuela Moutafian