Thought Leadership

MIE Partner Perspective: Lessons from COP28

By Caroline Abramo, Founder and CEO, Pana Low Carbon Economy Investments

As the CEO of Pana Low Carbon Economy Investments, I am genuinely excited about the positive strides made during last fall’s COP28, making it, in my opinion, easily the most successful COP since its start in 2015. At COP28 in Dubai, the global community witnessed unprecedented commitments and key initiatives, marking a significant turning point in our collective efforts toward a sustainable future — and COP28 was inclusive of all parties, which is the only path to meeting the Paris Climate Accords targets. Pana LCE Investments takes pride in being a sponsor of COP28 and remains committed to actively contributing to an inclusive global movement for change.

One of the highlights of COP28 was the groundbreaking inclusion of energy companies, along with the largest impact pledge ever. We applaud the efforts of U.S. stakeholders, with an estimated $50 trillion allocated for the expedited deployment of climate solutions by Fortune 500 companies, banks, insurance, and financial intermediaries. Leading asset allocators, such as CalSTRS, are pragmatically shifting from divestiture to inclusion of historically carbon-intensive businesses, and the United Arab Emirates’s pledge of $30 billion for its newly established ALTÉRRA climate fund serves a bellwether for global finance, augmenting European commitments already in place for years. At Pana LCE Investments, we’re enthusiastic about collaborating with these capital providers to ensure that these funds drive real change while creating bottom-line financial value.

There are also key milestones announced at COP28 that we’re celebrating:, For instance, Vice President Kamala Harris committed  an additional $1 trillion in climate-mitigation spending and $3.5 billion to the U.N. Green Climate Fund. Vice President Harris’ new commitments bolster the U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) allocations, through agencies such as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency to address climate totaling nearly $2 trillion dollars. These contributions promote a just transition in emerging markets, addressing geopolitical and energy stability gaps, and balancing economic priorities to foster manufacturing growth and job creation. Along with Vice President Harris’ announcement, President Biden's ambitious Methane Reduction Pact is a commendable step forward, considering the significant impact of methane on climate change.

At Pana, we are actively involved in several key COP28 initiatives that aim to accelerate decarbonization, foster transparency in international finance, and drive positive change in the carbon emissions landscape, such as:

  1. Global Stocktake: In our pursuit of accelerating decarbonization, Pana not only acknowledges the deviation from the Paris Accords but actively collaborates with and supports revenue-positive technology companies dedicated to reducing 1 gigaton or more of greenhouse gasses. We aim to hasten a collective effort to meet and exceed environmental targets.
  2. Carbon Emissions: Pana's commitment extends beyond supporting NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) and voluntary cooperation. We utilize our expertise in building traded markets to foster transparency and integrity in international finance, reinforcing our dedication to align with Article 6 of the Paris Accords and drive positive change in the carbon emissions landscape.
  3. Just Transition for Arab States: Pana has a global footprint with experts on the ground actively developing projects to facilitate a just transition for Arab states. We must recognize the region's dual role as a significant contributor to emissions and a frontline victim of climate change impacts.
  4. Green Finance: Unlocking Islamic Finance and engaging all financial intermediaries is not just an aim for Pana; it's a strategic move leveraging our team's extensive 40+ years of experience in financial markets and capital deployment, paving the way for innovative financial solutions that support sustainable initiatives.
  5. Loss and Damage: Pana's team acts as stewards of the earth's resources, focusing on macro-level investments aimed at mitigating loss and damage in countries most impacted by climate volatility and on principles that address underlying systemic inequities.
  6. Adaptation: Pana's dedication to prioritizing food, water security, and agricultural resilience goes beyond traditional investments. We are strategically investing in cutting-edge areas like material science, waste-to-value, and green commodities, to drive positive change in real asset sectors and companies.
  7. Oceanic Protection: Pana's commitment to reducing harmful ocean plastics, preserving marine carbon sinks, and safeguarding oceanic ecosystems, is evident in our first investment in waste plastic transformation.

On top of all of this, we are also proud to support Gender Equality Day at COP28 and the new partnership announced to economically empower women and promote gender equality. Aligning with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Gender Action Plan, we believe that the rights of women and girls must be at the forefront of climate action. Additionally, Health Day at COP28 was a pivotal moment, recognizing the essential link between planetary health and human well-being.

As we reflect on the accomplishments and initiatives of COP28, we embrace the importance of collective action. Pana LCE Investments calls on stakeholders to build on this progress and work towards tangible, systemic change that addresses the root causes of climate change. Our commitment to this cause is unwavering, and we invite others to join us in building a resilient and sustainable world.

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