As Saturday 20th August marks 100 days until the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, Vincent Neate, who leads KPMG’s UK Climate Change & Sustainability practice, looks ahead to what the challenges and achievements might be:
“If Copenhagen was a down and Cancun was an up, Durban will be a challenge. So many potentially conflicting interests need to be addressed there, and now that the international community has made both hard and soft commitments around financing the move to the low carbon economy, observers are going to be looking for something much more concrete from the process.
The business community have many of the answers that governments at national and local level need to drive green economic growth. It would be a shame if the divergence of interests between industrialised and developing nations, and between rich and poor, highlighted during previous conferences, continue to dominate the pace of change. Some major players are starting to understand the economics of green growth and the appeal that has across nations, governments and businesses. The private sector also needs to step out from the wings and start clearly setting its own agenda.
I can see financial support being made available to developing nations; this needs to be constructed in a way which allows for real growth in infrastructure and economic prosperity and to produce both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The agenda is now so obviously broader than this though and I want to see examples of innovation in financing which blend mitigation with improved infrastructure, population well-being and growth.
Business is waiting to drive technology into markets (innovating to address climate change) and a challenge for Durban is to decide internationally how to achieve that. Success will be a toolbox of instruments, easily understood and implemented, bringing together policy, finance and technology, mobilised collaboratively.”
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