Would 2022 be a Year of “Green Consciousness” ?

Would 2022 be a Year of “Green Consciousness” ?

 Author: Julien Froumouth, Sustainable Finance Adviser ABBL and InFiNe.lu grantee

10 January 2022                                                                

Let’s pause the Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance training program for a while and a short year-end review…

While the covid crisis might be an opportunity to pave the way to a less unbridled globalization and a more resilient and sustainable society, the latest science fiction movie “Don’t look up” closed 2021 by offering a scathing climate-change satire which reminds us that 2022 could be a year of “green consciousness”, of hope and action or, on the contrary, another source of major disappointment… A cruel disappointment and reality that lessons have not been learned and that we won’t be able to avoid that, among other disasters, most countries – 90% according to the study of Communications Earth and Environment – could suffer major heat waves and extreme weather events by 2030.

Although the tone of this article could be provocative, it also results from the lack and even sometimes the absence of concrete results at a time when more and more companies and political announcements are claiming to turn green, fight climate change and social issues.

On one hand, the European Commission has released a series of texts – the climate and disclosure delegated acts under the Taxonomy Regulation – whose provisions and guidance represent key steps in the EU’s sustainable finance agenda; on the other hand, the debate remains intense around nuclear energy and gas contribution to EU environmental objectives. Germany has just begun its nuclear phase-out, shutting down 50% of its remaining nuclear power plants, while the French ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 will rely on new nuclear reactors.

Whether we talk about energy independence, alignment with the EU Taxonomy or exit of fossil fuels and nuclear, all scenarios will anyway imply strong – even radical – decisions and changes, in the way we are living, we are working, we are investing and spending money. It will also require new technologies, new types of activities and companies, and obviously new mindset that is the foundation of any possible change. So we can make this year and the decades to come a period when all citizens would be able to say: “We have been blind but we’ve opened our eyes not to look elsewhere but to look up and face the challenges ahead”.

The author: Julien Froumouth is Sustainable Finance Adviser for ABBL and has been awarded an InFiNe.lu grant to attend the Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.