Citi and COP21: The 2015 Paris Climate Conference
By Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi December 02, 2015 01:00 PM
Citi has established combatting climate change as the top priority in our Sustainable Progress strategy, launched in February of this year. Our signature effort to combat climate change is our $100 Billion Environmental Finance goal, a goal to lend, invest and facilitate $100 billion over 10 years toward climate and environmental solutions, and we’re making significant progress towards that goal. In addition to our core business activities, we are also focused on the greening of our own operations. We have set science-based environmental footprint goals to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050 and to have 33% of our real estate portfolio to be LEED green building certified by 2020.
Citi’s businesses are collaborating to develop innovative climate financing solutions, with all of these efforts being done to help support our clients. One example is a transaction from earlier this year, when Citi provided construction finance, tax equity and commodity hedging to support the development of the Shannon Wind Project, which will provide clean, renewable energy to Facebook’s new 110-acre data center in Irving, Texas. Citi has also been a leader in the green bond market. So far this year, we have participated in over $3 billion in green bond offerings, including the recent EDF Group green bond for $1.25 billion to support their construction of renewable energy projects.
As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, takes place in Paris through December 11, Citi continues to be engaged and supportive of strong global action on climate. Our activities this fall have included:
- Citi joined forces with five other financial institutions and the NGO Ceres to issue a statement that highlighted the business opportunity in supporting a sustainable, low-carbon economy and called for a strong global climate agreement.
- Citi hosted the third roundtable event of the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCPTi), a group of forward-thinking businesses that aim to deliver low-carbon business solutions that both support the global economy and global climate action. This event marked the final opportunity to bring these business members together to finalize action plans in advance of COP21.
- Citi co-hosted “Delivering the SDG’s: Unlocking Business Action at Scale.” This breakfast event centered on business and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- At COP21, Citi representatives will participate in a panel focused on private investment in climate resilience and in various COP21 side events with industry associations and NGO partners.
Through our combined efforts, we believe that Citi can play a meaningful role in climate mitigation and adaptation and in driving forward smart climate policies.