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Developing country entrepreneurs cause for hope, GCF deputy tells meeting

Innovation in developing countries highlighted by moves to renewable energy in China and India raises hopes for a low-emissions future, according to Javier Manzanares, Green Climate Fund Deputy Executive Director a.i.

Mr Manzanares pointed to a recent UN report indicating CO2 emissions have remained stable since 2014, thanks partly to renewable energy gains in these two giant nations, as showing the potential of business savvy, during his address to the International Conference on Climate Finance and Industry on Thursday.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy at large are good business,” said Mr Manzanares during the start of the two-day conference, held in Incheon, the host city of GCF.

China continues to lead a global surge of renewable energy, while renewable energy generation is also rising rapidly in India.

Hopes that global emissions may have peaked are based in part on “the power of innovation being nurtured among entrepreneurs in developing countries,” said the acting deputy head of GCF.

“But neither we, nor anyone wishing to progress climate action, can afford to rest on our laurels,” he added.

The UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report indicates that even with the full implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions, which countries have pledged to reduce their emissions under the Paris Agreement, the planet still faces a likely temperature increase of at least 3 degrees by 2100.

This is above the target under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to under 2 degrees, along with a more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees.

Forging effective ways to deal with climate change must involve using the potential of public and private sectors in developing countries, said Mr Manzanares.

“That is why country ownership, tapping the ideas of local private sector entrepreneurs, and an emphasis on the power of companies, as well as the public sector, to drive positive change is so fundamental to GCF’s goals,” he concluded.

The International Conference on Climate Finance and Industry is accompanied by an exhibition, “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation,” which uses a series of photographs to depict how foreign policy is increasingly being determined by environmental change.