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News from 2019-11-29 / KfW Development Bank

Strongly increasing ambitions for climate protection

KfW participates intensively in the World Climate Conference in Madrid

A windmill
The expansion of renewable energies is a decisive factor in climate protection.

On Monday, 2 December, the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the COP 25, will begin in Madrid. By 13 December, the representatives of more than 190 signatory states will negotiate on the rules for implementing the Paris Convention on Climate Change. They will discuss further efforts in climate protection in 2020 and the formulation of long-term goals to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. A further topic is how to deal with the damage and losses caused by climate change.

For the first time, the International Development Finance Club will appear jointly at this year's World Climate Conference. The IDFC is an association of 26 national and regional development banks of which KfW is a member. With this joint presence, KfW wants to promote exchange with other climate actors and send a signal to the negotiators that development banks are ready to implement an ambitious negotiation result with concrete investments promptly.

"The reduction targets presented so far are not sufficient to achieve the 2°C target," says Peter Hilliges, Head of the Energy and Climate Competence Team at KfW Development Bank. It is only a first step to "resolutely implement" the climate protection measures agreed so far. However, it is necessary to increase ambitions substantially and to better protect the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in natural systems. "In our view, the major emitters in particular must improve their climate targets and plans (National Determined Contributions, NDCs)," says Hilliges.

Climate change felt all over the world

The effects of climate change can be felt all over the world today: extreme events and creeping changes threaten the lives and livelihoods of many people. The poor are particularly exposed to the consequences of climate change and are often the least able to react. The affected developing countries already urgently need financial support. For the year 2030, the need of funds will be up to 580 billion US dollars according to estimates. "We hope that COP 25 will send out a strong signal that the urgently needed measures to adapt to climate change will be financed to a much greater extent than hitherto," Hilliges insists.

The international financial institutions are intensively exploring how to better integrate the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement into their programmes and projects. At COP 25 KfW will be deliberating with the other national and regional development banks in the IDFC on common principles, methods and time horizons of the so-called "Paris Alignment". KfW is tackling these challenges by means of the Group-wide "Roadmap Sustainable Finance" (RMSF) initiative and climate mainstreaming within KfW Development Bank.

Combating climate change and its effects at the same time

By 2030, an estimated 90 trillion US dollars will be invested in infrastructure worldwide. The nature and the circumstances of these investments will determine whether climate change can be slowed down. The Paris Climate Agreement obliges the international community to observe climate resilience as a priority in all investment activities. This will promote new topics such as energy storage, CO2-neutral buildings and sustainable mobility. The energy turnaround has to be multisectoral.

Energy generation must be designed to be as environmentally and climate-friendly as energy transport, storage and use. "We all have it in our hands to make groundbreaking decisions so that climate change can be contained," says Hilliges. "Both are important: we must not relax in our efforts to limit global warming, but at the same time we must adapt to the consequences that we can no longer avert today."