Climate Week NYC has been shaping global climate action since it was launched in 2009. Strategically scheduled at the start of the United Nations General Assembly, it is a unique venue to showcase and celebrate efforts to combat climate change and promote meaningful discussions about what to do next. Its primary purpose is to wrap the brains of the brightest and most influential actors around initiatives that bring us closer to avoid the disastrous consequences of climate change.
In its 10th anniversary, Climate Week NYC came at a paramount time. While nearly all countries have agreed on the national contributions to meet the Paris Agreement mandate, how countries will actually translate commitments into concrete activities is uncertain. Furthermore, additional action from private sector activities must complement and reinforce public sector actions to increase the likelihood of a world well below 2°C.
HSBC hosted an event in the New York Public library which emphasised corporate activity in sustainability as well as the increasing emphasis not just on individual corporate sustainability goals, but also their supply chain activities. This is an area that is increasingly under scrutiny from investors.
The event also marked the launch of a report by the Climate Bonds Initiative, The State of the Market 2018. HSBC has been supporting this report for the last five years. The report finds that the climate-aligned bond universe outstanding is USD1.45 trillion, with the labelled green bond market at USD389 billion. CBI CEO, Sean Kidney, said “Mobilising the fixed income markets to address climate change is critical to address the climate challenge. Whilst green bonds are useful because they provide full disclosure on the use of capital proceeds for green project, the scale of the opportunity set is much bigger by looking at the revenue streams of issuers and giving them a climate classification. The point is to provide more transparency for investors”.
HSBC also hosted a London launch of the report on the 1st October.
Sean Kidney is the CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO working to mobilise debt capital markets for climate solutions.