One of the most important and topical discussions within the global multilateral arena is the challenge of meeting the world’s climate finance needs in order to reduce carbon emissions to sustainable levels and support adaptation strategies. The mobilization of finance is key in supporting the transition away from traditional high-carbon or business-as-usual economic pathways toward low-carbon, climate-resilient economic systems. A conference, Global Sustainability, Climate Change and Finance Policy, organized by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the South African Institute for International Affairs and held in Johannesburg from July 1 to July 3, considered three aspects of the debate: the role of international organizations and climate finance; the integration of climate and sustainability issues into the financial sector; and, finally, the impact of climate finance at the national level, particularly in African countries. This policy brief presents conclusions from the discussion and suggests areas for further research.
Penelope Hawkins has been an economist, policy researcher and adviser for nearly 20 years. As founder and managing director of Feasibility (Pty) Ltd, she has undertaken some of the leading research projects in the financial sector in Southern Africa, commissioned by regulators, policy makers and the private sector.
Olaf Weber is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert on sustainability and the banking sector. He is currently a professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo and a University of Waterloo Research Chair in Sustainable Finance.