15 February 2008
On 14 February 2008, the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships, together with Ceres and the United Nations Foundation hosted the largest gathering of financial and corporate leaders from around the world at the third Investor Summit on Climate Risk. The summit has been attended by more than 450 investor, financial, and corporate leaders – together controlling $10-15 trillion in investment capital - from around the world.
A number of leading experts and practitioners have been discussing the challenges relating to climate risk during the Summit. Former Vice President of the United States and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mr. Al Gore has been the key luncheon speaker.
The Secretary-General in his remarks (delivered by Mr. Amir Dossal, Executive Director, UN Office for Partnerships) urged participants to “join hands with the United Nations in crafting a forceful yet flexible response to climate change.”
The summit can be considered a significant success since nearly 50 leading U.S. and European institutional investors managing over $1.75 trillion in assets released a climate change action plan that will boost investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies and require tougher scrutiny of carbon-intensive investments that may pose long-term financial risks. Additionally, European investors managing $6.5 trillion in assets supported the action plan "in principle."
A webcast of the summit is available at: http://www.un.org/webcast.
The purpose of the Summit was to provide a high-level forum for state treasurers, leading institutional investors, and financial services firms from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future. The Summit focused on how investors can advance solutions to climate change, with a particular emphasis on the benefits of energy efficiency.
The Summit helped investors:
“The next 50 years will see a massive shift to low-carbon energy sources and technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels scientists say are needed to avoid disastrous climate change impacts. Huge capital investments are needed to accelerate this low-carbon, technological shift in developed and developing countries alike and significant profits are possible,” said Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation. “This economic transformation will be comparable to the Internet revolution in generating economic opportunity.”
The 2008 Summit builds on the groundbreaking success of the first two UN Investor Summits on November 21, 2003 and May 10, 2005. Hundreds of institutional investors and asset managers from around the world, representing trillions of dollars in assets, attended the previous Summits.