Climate finance to develop sustainable infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean

Katowice December 13, 2018
Climate finance to develop sustainable infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean

During this event, participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Latin American countries in the implementation of sustainable infrastructure necessary for their development, in line with commitments under the Paris Agreement. The different articulation mechanisms between financing of the climate change agenda and the development of countries will also be explored.

Leading economists cite climate change as the greatest market flaw in human history, with potentially disturbing implications for social wellbeing, economic development and financial stability for present and future generations: Conservative estimates suggest that uncontrolled climate change could lead to global costs equivalent to losing between 5% and 20% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) each year.

As a result, public and private decision-makers around the world are facing a twofold challenge:

  • Significantly and promptly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around the world, decarbonizing the world economy, in order to prevent the average global temperature from increasing to dangerous levels
  • Adapting the global consumption and production patterns, lifestyles and underlying supply chains to the physical, meteorological and hydrological impacts of climate change, which are now inevitable

The financial sector, which is at the heart today’s global markets, is facing the same challenges, but it is also presented with vast financial opportunities associated with the reorganization of economies towards climate compatibility:

  • On the one hand, risks associated with climate change, recently categorized as transition, physical and civil liability risks, should be understood, identified, evaluated, managed and, eventually, reported by institutions in all financial sectors.
  • On the other hand, the transition to low carbon and climate resilient economies will require an additional investment of at least USD 60 trillion, from now until 2050; and that investment will require financing which should be partly provided by financial institutions: USD 35 trillion to decarbonize the world energy system through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency; another USD 15 trillion to adapt man-made infrastructure to changing weather conditions; and another USD 2 trillion to reorganize worldwide land use to meet the growing demand of agricultural products while stopping tropical deforestation.