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Business as unusual: The implications of fossil divestment and green bonds for financial flows, economic growth and energy market

Solveig Glomsrød, Taoyuan Wei

Green bonds and fossil divestment has emerged as a bottom-up approach to climate action within the business community. Recent pledges by large banks and institutional investors have reached levels that have the potential to contribute markedly to a low carbon transition. We find that in a green finance scenario reflecting a reasonable upscaling of current level of pledges towards 2030, green finance leads to somewhat higher GDP while shifting income from capital owners to wage earners. Although effects differ among regions the green finance reduces global coal consumption to 2.5% below BAU in 2030, raising the share of non-fossil electricity from 42 to 46% at the global level. Over the period towards 2030, green finance avoids global CO2 emissions corresponding to total emissions of the European Union and Japan in a recent year.

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