24 January 2014 — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged political, economic and financial leaders at the World Economic Forum to intensify their efforts to move towards a low-carbon economy in preparation for the Climate Summit in September in New York.
“The Summit is your opportunity to show what you can and will do, and to work with governments at the highest level to address climate change,” Mr. Ban told attendees at a session on catalyzing green investment. “I am looking for new commitments and substantial, scalable and replicable contributions to a low-carbon economy.”
Convened by the Secretary-General to spur action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resilience, the Summit also aims to mobilize political will for an ambitious global legal climate agreement by 2015, when States parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet in Paris. The Summit, however, is not part of the negotiation process,
“I urge public and private actors to rise to the challenge in the coming months and rally around a key number of concrete action-oriented solutions for the Climate Summit,” Mr. Ban said.
“This could include, but I hope won’t be limited to, a range of public and private institutions working closely with those governments that have developed plans and are most investment ready. Perhaps a handful of governments and public and private partners could even be ready to show what this partnership could look like by the time of the Summit in September.”
Climate change has been a major focus of the annual Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with today dedicated to climate change, and more than 20 events related to the topic as well as energy policy.
In a separate session on climate, growth and development, Mr. Ban stressed that progress on addressing climate change will involve not just governments but also the full engagement of the business and finance communities.
“We need to see trillions of dollars of investment shifting from the brown economy to the green economy,” he said. “Investment now will result in major savings in the future, and can propel economic growth today. It can support universal energy access, sustainable cities and well-being for people and the planet.”
He added that climate change and sustainable development are interdependent a mutually supporting, and encouraged investors, banks and regulators to work together to ensure that financial markets are conducive to sustainable development.
The finance sector, Mr. Ban said, can help by scaling up low-carbon investment and climate-resilient infrastructure, helping to set goals for clean energy investments, and by supporting asset-backed securities to expand financing for clean energy projects, among other activities.
Meanwhile, investors and banks should work to increase transparency regarding greenhouse gas emissions from the assets and businesses that they finance.
“I look forward to working with all leaders to ensure the Climate Summit catalyzes major action on the ground and on an ambitious global climate agreement,” Mr. Ban said. “Together, we can build a better, more secure world for this and future generations.”