Private investment key in tackling climate change, says Assembly President

Srgjan Kerim, President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly

9 June 2008 – With trillions of dollars needed to combat climate change in coming decades, private investments are essential, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today.

Despite the efforts of the UN and other international and regional institutions, the world body approximates that nearly 90 per cent of the funds needed to address global warming will derive from the private sector, Mr. Kerim said at an Assembly event with the theme “Global Private Investments and Climate Change.”

Additionally, in 2030, some $200 billion will be needed to return emissions to current levels, while a recent report pointed out that without stepped-up action, poorer nations’ GDP would plummet over 10 per cent, he said.

Today’s event follows up on an Assembly debate on climate change held in February, and the President told participants in his opening address that he chose to convene the meeting given the need to “deepen our collective understanding on how the private sector relates to climate issues” and Member States call for a surge in financing to address the issue.

“Financial institutions shape our economies in many and varied ways,” he said. “Investment decisions taken today will inevitably affect the world’s emission profile in the future.”

The goal of the event, which also featured an interactive panel discussion, is two-fold, the President said, hoping to ascertain how decisions taken by private investors affect climate change and how global warming influences their financial choices.

“We don’t want climate change to be reduced to an environmental issue,” he told reporters after speaking at the event. “It is rather an issue of sustainable development and sustainable development must be based on economic growth.”


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