I have always emphasised that COP 21 in Paris is not only a platform for negotiation but an opportunity to pursue the road to low carbon economy. Some of the parties, while addressing the reduction of emission, are also planning how to manage and consistently look at the risk adjusted investment into a new fora of sustainability activities and programmes. It is a shift that requires new skills, knowledge and commitment.
We have seen how Switzerland has indicated its commitment to projects locally and globally with implications for emission control.
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, speaking at the Atlantic Council on March 12 2015 in Washington, urged nations to set ambitious goals to curb greenhouse gases and warned climate change deniers that gambling with the Earth’s future was a risky business as “there is no Plan B.” He went further to say: “If we fail, future generations will not forgive those who ignored this moment no matter their reasoning.”
He further said that for decades now the science has been screaming at us. Future generations will judge our efforts not just a policy failure but as a collective, moral failure of historic consequences.”
Kerry underscored the importance of clean energy as “one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time. The global energy market of the future is poised to be the largest market the world has ever known. We are talking about $6 trillion market with four to five billon users today that will grow to nine million users over the next few decades.”
He predicted that by 2035 investment in the energy sector is expected to reach about $17 trillion more than the entire current GDP of China. The United States which accounts for 12 percent of global emissions recently announced that it plans to reduce them by 26-28 percent in 2005.
There are many activities going on globally to mobilise for “solutions we need to succeed” and the economic argument for developing alternative energy is gaining grounds.
It is clear that a new way of transforming investments into the path of sustainability will involve investment research, education, strategy, communication, change of investment goals, reliable data, information evaluating and analysing emerging solutions on various investments.
There is need to have competent, skilled, well trained professionals in sustainable development in various fields – project management, banking, investment analysis, estate management, health and engineering, among others, with a view to see how combating global warming can be factored into their different development projects.
The different areas of negotiation – capacity building, finance, technology, loss and damage, and others – have one thing or another to do with climate and development. The issue of adaptation and mitigation projects require understanding of various terminology and language different from the traditional language we are familiar with. The new concept of sustainable investment takes into congnisance the three tripod of economic, social and environmental factors in analysing investments.
We humbly suggest that a strong platform is provided to market climate resilient investment opportunities in Nigeria as one of the major activities and programmes at COP 21 in Paris. This should be a collective programme to have both the private and public sectors operators showcasing investment opportunities in Nigeria. The benefits of this are tremendous and it provides a good opportunity for wealth creation, business development, job opportunities, knowledge sharing and enhancement of the standard of living of Nigerians through increased investment in GDP and wider investment portfolio.
By Prince Lekan Fadina (Executive Director, Centre for Investment, Sustainable Development, Management and Environment (CISME). (He is a member of the Nigeria Negotiation Team, Africa Group of Negotiators and member, AGN Finance Co-ordination Committee). Website: www.cismenigeria.com. Email: email@example.com