New Article: “‘Climate Finance Issues’: Implications for Climate Change Adaptation for Food Security in Southern Africa”

Hofisi, C., Chigavazira, B., Mago, S., Hofisi, M. (2013). “Climate Finance Issues”: Implications for Climate Change Adaptation in Food Security in Southern Africa”. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 4(6): 47-53.

Abstract: Global development has been asphyxiated by climate change as evidenced by significant repercussions on the world economy.While agriculture is the backbone of most developing economies in the global south, this sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Grim statistics point to a bleak future if the risk posed by climate change is not tackled.The impact of climate change has generally seen precipitation increasing in the Global North while the same has decreased in the Global South resulting in both wetter and drier scenarios. This scenario has meant that global food security is under threat.It is against this background that climate change adaptation becomes significant in averting the climate change induced food crisis. However, the UNFCCC “funding streams” for climate change adaptation strategies have been criticised for being financially and technically inadequate for meeting the adaptation needs of poor countries that are more vulnerable to climate effects. The disbursal of climate change is inefficient and more costly. African countries have also been clamouring for direct access to climate finance. Therefore, the ravaging impact of climate change on global development lingers. While there are debates on climate finance for effective adaptation, the resolution of issues involved is key if the battle against climate change is to be won. It is important that adaptation is mainstreamed in government policies, mainly, in the developing countries for effective financing of climate change adaptation to be realised while the poor and most vulnerable in developing countries should be given priority.

Available for download with subscription here.

Table of Contents Alert: Business & Society 51 (1)

Special Issue: Climate Change: Challenging Business, Transforming Politics

Climate Change: Challenging Business, Transforming Politics

Chukwumerije Okereke, Bettina Wittneben, and Frances Bowen

Abstract: Climate change challenges contemporary management practices and ways of organizing. While aspects of this challenge have been long recognized, many pertinent dimensions are less effectively articulated. Based on contemporary literature and insights from articles submitted to this special issue, the guest editors of this special issue highlight some of the challenges posed by climate change to government and business, and indicate the range of options and approaches being adopted to address these challenges.

Corporate Perceptions of Climate Science: The Role of Corporate Environmental Scientists

Sandra Rothenberg and David L. Levy

Abstract: Although there has been some growing recognition of the role of private actors in international environmental regimes, little attention has been paid to the role of the private sector at the science–policy interface. Because the automobile industry plays a crucial role in mitigation of greenhouse gases, successful policy requires not just the assent but the active cooperation of this sector. Such cooperation, however, requires some institutional acceptance that climate change is indeed a significant risk. In this article, the authors look at the early stages of the automobile industry’s engagement with the discourse on climate change. The authors focus, in particular, on the role of corporate scientists in two U.S. automobile companies in translating this discourse. Acting as boundary spanners and institutional entrepreneurs, these individuals influenced both corporate perceptions of and responses to climate change science.

Much Ado About Nothing? How Banks Respond to Climate Change

Bettina Furrer, Jens Hamprecht, and Volker H. Hoffmann

Abstract: The effect of the financial sector on climate change remains largely underestimated. Banks can steer investments of their customers in low-emission technologies and adjust the conditions of loans that they provide to greenhouse gas intensive sectors. However, the authors’ research shows that few banks take such substantive action when they implement their climate strategy. The authors analyze 114 listed banks around the world and find evidence for deflective decoupling. This evidence means that banks that implement a climate strategy often decouple it from their main value creating processes such as lending and investment. Those banks that engage in more substantive action still combine it with symbolic activities which may facilitate the strategic change process. This study contributes to the literature on organizations and the natural environment as the authors specify which kind of banks implement substantive climate strategies. This research holds important implications for policy makers and managers who aim to implement a climate strategy in organizations that create value through information and financial flows but not with a physical transfer of goods.

Surprise as a Catalyst for Including Climatic Change in the Strategic Environment

Nardia Haigh and Andrew Griffiths

Abstract: This article examines what prompted electricity supply organizations to include changing climatic conditions as key elements of the strategic environment. Utilizing themes emerging from inductive analysis, the authors explain how and why surprising climatic events drove the organizations to begin including climate trends in their strategy development and planning processes. Results indicate that organizations were surprised climate was becoming more unpredictable, was directly affecting their operations, and was challenging long-held assumptions about climatic patterns. Our findings suggest that adaptation to climate change occurs predominantly as a reaction to climatic surprise, rather than a preemptive response to increasing awareness, and perceived uncertainty and risks as suggested by previous studies. Results also show that organizations are beginning to conceptually link changes in local climatic conditions to the global issue of climate change; though such linkages are not necessarily important to the inclusion of climate in the strategic environment.

The ClimateWise Principles: Self-Regulating Climate Change Risks in the Insurance Sector

Jason Thistlethwaite

Abstract: In recent years, the private insurance sector has started to incorporate climate change issues into its standard business practices and even begun to lobby governments to regulate and reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The establishment of the ClimateWise Principles (ClimateWise) in 2007 embodies this effort. ClimateWise is an example of what scholars studying corporate strategy identify as a self-regulatory institution. To date, however, academic scholarship has failed to explain the emergence and function of ClimateWise, a unique initiative designed to leverage the insurance industry’s technical and political authority in governing climate change risks. This article will make the case that ClimateWise emerged in response to strategic incentives to reduce exposure to climate change risks, but that the form of this unusual self-regulatory institution was driven by institutional conditions.

Influencing Climate Change Policy: The Effect of Shareholder Pressure and Firm Environmental Performance

Cynthia E. Clark and Elise Perrault Crawford

Abstract: Firms face a great deal of pressure to engage in the heightened debate about climate change policies and practices. Building on the corporate political strategy literature, the authors evaluate how firms choose to influence those policies when faced with pressure from shareholders and activists. The authors triangulate firms’ choice of corporate political activity (CPA) with their environmental performance to draw out whether performance affects the firm’s choice of engagement level in CPA. The authors find that firms in the S&P 500 use a form of constituency-building (CB) more often than a financial-incentive (FI) tactic and that environmental performance moderates this choice. To date, there is little research connecting corporate political activity and climate change policies and performance. This research is intended to contribute to this literature gap.

Addressing the Climate Change—Sustainable Development Nexus: The Role of Multistakeholder Partnerships

Jonatan Pinkse and Ans Kolk

Abstract: While calls are being made to deal with the linkages between climate change and sustainable development to arrive at an integrated policy, concrete steps in this direction have been very limited so far. One of the possible instruments through which both issues may be approached simultaneously is a multistakeholder partnership, a form of governance with the potential to address existing regulatory, participation, resource and learning gaps as it harnesses the strengths of private, public, and nonprofit partners. There is some insight into partnerships for climate change, but largely limited to developed countries, and those in developing countries most often do not involve companies. To help fill this gap, this article explores the role of multistakeholder partnerships in addressing climate change and sustainable development in developing-country settings. It elaborates on the governance function of partnerships, on actor involvement, the gaps addressed, as well as synergies and trade-offs in the climate change-sustainable development nexus and how partnerships may help address them. As the number of such partnerships is still limited, we discuss seven illustrative partnerships and draw conclusions as to further conceptualizations and implications for research and practice.

Full text with subscription available for download at: http://bas.sagepub.com/

‘Climate policy and financial institutions’

Abstract: This article examines how financial institutions, such as pension funds and insurance companies, have interpreted and used UN-issued climate change management policies. A critical discourse approach is used to analyse material issued by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Bank Group and some business and investment consultancies, with interview data supplementing the document analysis. It is argued that although policymakers and business consultants have been eager to appropriate the discourses of financial services, they have not produced guidance on how the outputs of climate science might best be used to allocate managed capital. In terms of outcomes, financial services remain on the periphery of policy implementation, attention has been deflected from the emitters of greenhouse gases, and policy objectives have been frustrated. By unspoken fiat, the market is here the new truth that cannot be contradicted.

Full Citation: Grubb, M. (2011). Climate policy and financial institutions. Climate Policy, 11 (6): 1367-1385 (Available with subscription from: http://earthscan.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/earthscan/cpol/2011/00000011/00000006/art00008). 

‘No Romance: Mobilizing Climate Finance for Africa’

Climate finance has recently become a subject of profound interest to the global debates on climate change. At this year’s 17th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban, climate finance is expected to feature prominently. This being the “African COP”, we hope that the African perspective on climate finance will receive the attention it deserves.

While Africa has contributed the least to historic greenhouse gas emissions globally, it stands to be the hardest hit by the effects of climate change.

Climate change will affect many parts of the continent causing drastic reduction in agricultural productivity while exposing its people to water stress, droughts, floods and localised outbreaks of vector-borne diseases. Addressing climate change is therefore an urgent issue and Africa will require substantial financial resources in order to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.

However, the current models of financing do not match Africa’s climate change priorities. With approximately 80 percent of all climate finance directed to mitigation, adaptation, which is a priority for Africa, remains grossly underfunded.

Continue reading

‘Climate policy and financial institutions’

Abstract: This article examines how financial institutions, such as pension funds and insurance companies, have interpreted and used UN-issued climate change management policies. A critical discourse approach is used to analyse material issued by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Bank Group and some business and investment consultancies, with interview data supplementing the document analysis. It is argued that although policymakers and business consultants have been eager to appropriate the discourses of financial services, they have not produced guidance on how the outputs of climate science might best be used to allocate managed capital. In terms of outcomes, financial services remain on the periphery of policy implementation, attention has been deflected from the emitters of greenhouse gases, and policy objectives have been frustrated. By unspoken fiat, the market is here the new truth that cannot be contradicted.

Full Citation: Haigh, M. (2011). Climate Policy and Financial Institutions, Climate Policy, 11: 1-19 (Article available with full subscription at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14693062.2011.579265).

South Africa – Best carbon tax must target emissions cuts, “not raising revenue”

THE most effective carbon tax is one that forces companies to change their conduct by reducing their carbon emissions, say tax analysts. 

 

Anja Finnern, chairwoman of the carbon tax committee at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) and manager of tax services at KPMG, said at the weekend that the efficacy of a carbon tax should not be measured by the revenue that it raises for the government’s coffers.

 

Rather, the best carbon tax would be one which has the most effect on reducing emissions, Finnern said.  Continue reading

Chatham House report on ‘Scaling up Renewable Energy in Developing Countries’

Scaling up the use of renewable energy is a key plank of building a genuinely low carbon energy system. This is needed to deliver both significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, greater energy security and resilience to volatile fuel prices, as well as access to modern energy.

Accessing greater finance and investment will be decisive to achieve higher levels of renewable energy (RE) uptake in developing countries. The scale of capital flows required are very significant indicating that private finance from outside national boundaries is likely to be required, alongside domestic sources of capital. Continue reading

UNEPFI releases report on Green Buildings and the Finance Sector

This report is intended for financial institutions in the United States and Canada that are interested in becoming involved or have started to get involved with green buildings. It is meant to provide an overview of the relevant facts and issues related to green buildings, the roles that the financial sector can play, and the potential barriers and benefits to financial sector involvement. It also offers some guidance and strategies for financial institutions preparing for greater involvement with green buildings.

Broadly speaking, a “green building” is one that incorporates environmental and health concerns and resource efficiency throughout its life cycle – from siting and design to operation and maintenance, all the way through to deconstruction. For many people, however, a “green building” is one that has received some sort of third-party certification that validates its green features. While there are several certification systems available, the dominant system in the U.S. is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system from the U.S. Green Building Council (and adopted by the Canadian Green Building Council), while the dominant system in Canada is the Building Environmental Standards from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA BESt). Continue reading

Eskom seeks Medupi carbon credits

ESKOM wants to apply for carbon credits for Medupi, its planned coal- fired power station in Limpopo, under the United Nations (UN) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) programme, in a move sure to inflame environmental sensibilities. 

Medupi will use supercritical coal technology — known in fossil fuel circles as “clean coal” — which emits fewer greenhouse gases per kilowatt compared to older technology. Continue reading

World Bank and AusAid release report – Winds of Change: East Asia’s sustainable energy future

In light of East Asia’s rapid economic growth and urbanization, accompanied by a large increase in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, this report considers how to move the region towards a ‘sustainable development path’.

‘The key messages of this report are:

  • It is within the reach of East Asia’s governments to maintain economic growth, mitigate climate change, and improve energy security. This study found that large-scale deployment of energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies can simultaneously stabilize East Asia’s CO2 emissions by 2025 and significantly improve the local environment and enhance energy security, without compromising economic growth. Continue reading
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