By Stella Paul
INCHEON, South Korea, Oct 9 2019 – “The window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic climate change is fast shrinking,” executive director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Yannick Glemarec, tells IPS.
He was speaking at the GCF Private Investment for Climate (GPIC) Conference, which took place in Incheon, South Korea, from Oct. 7 to 9. The conference has been an important platform to encourage greater dialogue among investors on the barriers they face, share past and current investment experiences and exchange innovative ideas while assuring them of all assistance and support by GCF.
“When I started my career 30 years ago though we had 80 years before we would cross the 2 ° Celsius threshold. Today we face the real risk of crossing it within 20 to 30 years or 40 years,” Glemarec says.
“In addition what we have found over the past fews years is that 2 ° Celsius might be already far too much for a number of countries for a number of communities for a number of ecosystems. We thought, for example, that we would not see major threats to ecosystems before an increase of temperature to 3, 4, 5, 6° Celsius. Today we believe that coral reefs could be wiped out by the time we reach 2 ° Celsius,” he says.
In this interview with IPS, Glemarec candidly shares his views on the urgency of more actions in both climate mitigation and adaptation and also the urgent requirement of more finances to make these actions possible.
He also shares some details about how GCF is working to mobilise these finances, especially from private investors as public money is not enough to meet the massive needs. Finally, he shares some examples of positive leadership by GCF in developing countries where private investment helped set up and run energy projects with great success.