“The reality is, when you refer to it as an energy crisis, you give the impression that it is somehow a problem with the actual energy source. The problem is, of course, the lack of conducive policies to make sure that the energy reaches the (necessary) markets,” Jafar said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. “And this is related, fundamentally, to many, many years of underinvestment in critical sources of energy, in order to provide energy security to large parts of the world.”
The headlines speak for themselves. Residents in the UK have been seeing ads suggesting coal furnaces as a replacement for electric or gas heating in their homes as a way to cut costs, while Europeans have been warned to brace for tough winters ahead.
“That’s why I refer to it as a management crisis — not to be facetious, but because we need to learn,” he said. “Policymakers need to learn to solve these problems with long-term conducive policies, and not short-term politics. (If you try) to address these challenges with short-term politics, this is going to be the result.”
Every year at Davos, curated panels sound the alarm on global warming, climate change, and the need to curb the world’s dependence on oil. But little has actually changed. Ironically enough, new research commissioned by Greenpeace found that private jet emissions quadrupled during last year’s conference. Of the 1,040 private jets that landed, 53 percent were making trips of less than 750 km that could easily have been made by train or car, with the shortest flight clocking in at only 21 km.
Jafar also cited global philanthropy and faith-based giving as other integral forms of investment that have not been expanded to their full potential.
“Climate philanthropy is growing rapidly. It’s grown by three times over the last five years, and it can grow significantly in the years to come,” he said.
“We need to create awareness and we need to create alliances. This is what COP28 will also do — help to create an alliance of philanthropists working with family offices and other creative capital actors to come together to really unite, in furtherance of our net-zero, nature-positive goals.”
Jafar claims that there are moves underway in emerging markets to make a big difference in the years to come.
“One is greater institutionalization of philanthropy in these markets,” he said, “The second is massive intergenerational wealth transfer; in Asia alone, approximately $5 trillion (will pass) from one generation to the next.
“And the third is a greater appreciation of the interconnectedness of the climate crisis with other systems like health, food security, national security, and, of course, social justice.”
Jafar believes that such developments will mean the world witnesses “a big change and a big uptick in philanthropic engagement, but also climate philanthropy.”