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Thought Leadership: Closing the Climate Funding Gap

November 22, 2022

Prof. Bill Burke-White proposes a “green investment treaty” to close the climate funding gap.

Professor of Law William W. Burke-White proposes a new type of international treaty that provides special legal protections for climate-friendly private foreign investments.

In addition to authoring “A Green Investment Treaty Can Help Close the Climate Funding Gap,” at Bloomberg Law (excerpted below), he recently discussed the issue with Andy Stone on “Energy Policy Now,” the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s podcast. 

“We have to think about this as a long-term process,” Burke-White said. “There are things that I’m looking for this week as we see information about how the various funding mechanisms that are part of the UNFCCC system are evolving, and will cities have access to them. But really, for cities, this is a long-term game.”

Joining Burke-White on the podcast was Eugénie L. Birch, Co-Director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research; Lawrence C. Nussdorf Chair of Urban Research and Education; and Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning; and Mauricio Rodas, Former Mayor of Quito, Ecuador and 2019-2020 visiting scholar with the Kleinman Center, Perry World House, and Penn Institute for Urban Research.

Listen to the full conversation here.

From Bloomberg Law:

Prof. Bill Burke-WhiteAt last week’s United Nations climate negotiations in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, finance questions were at the top of the agenda. At stake was how countries —particularly in the developing world — can afford much-needed investments that reduce carbon emissions, and adapt their infrastructure to a rapidly changing climate.

While governments spar over the resources needed to address climate change, they overlook the fact that law — in particular, international legal protections of foreign investments — can fundamentally alter the calculations of potential foreign investors.

A new international treaty that provides special legal protections for climate-positive private foreign investments should be part of the broader strategy to close the climate funding gap… . 

Read the full piece at Bloomberg Law.