UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HIGHLIGHT ROLE OF GLOBAL PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE, 9 JUNE

6 June 2008
Note No. 6153

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HIGHLIGHT ROLE OF GLOBAL PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE, 9 JUNE

6 June 2008
Press Release
Note No. 6153
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents


UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HIGHLIGHT ROLE OF GLOBAL PRIVATE


INVESTMENTS IN TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE, 9 JUNE

 


In an effort to foster dialogue between private investors and public decision makers, the United Nations General Assembly will debate perspectives on climate change from the standpoint of analysts, banks, insurers, pension funds and hedge funds at a special half-day event on “Global Private Investments and Climate Change” that will take place in New York on 9 June.


“To make quicker progress in tackling climate change, we need partners from all sectors and constituencies, and particularly the private sector,” says United Nations General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim.  “Investment decisions taken today will affect the world’s carbon emissions in the future.  Private investors, therefore, play a key role in shaping the transition to a low-carbon economy worldwide.”


The private sector has become a major actor in the climate change debate, both for the challenges it poses and the opportunities it offers.  According to a recent report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the vast majority -- up to 86 per cent -- of the global finance flows needed to respond to climate change will come, not from bilateral donors or multilateral organizations, but from private investment sources.


President Kerim, who has made climate change his “flagship” issue, said the General Assembly event would provide Governments with important investors’ perspectives on the options ahead.  “Financial institutions make the investment decisions, but national Governments set the rules for the markets in which they invest and operate,” President Kerim said.  “Hence, Member States must be aware of how financial institutions integrate climate-change-related risks and opportunities in their operations and investment decisions.”


The meeting, according to President Kerim, ultimately aims to support the ongoing climate change negotiations under the Bali action plan.  “A new global climate change deal will also have to address the needs of the business community and ensure that the right incentives are provided to slash greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.  “It is, therefore, crucial to explore the links between public decision-making and private investment flows and their implications for climate change.”


At the ongoing Climate Change Convention negotiations on a new global climate change deal -- currently under way in Bonn, Germany, from 2 to 13 June -- Governments are discussing ways to meet their emission reduction targets, facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, increase investment for climate change, reduce emissions from deforestation and improve the emissions trading system established under the Kyoto Protocol.


The General Assembly debate -- a specialized follow-up event to the Assembly’s February meeting on climate change -- will feature a select group of senior financial service executives from different topical and geographical backgrounds, who will give an overview of the constraints and opportunities they face.


After opening remarks by the General Assembly President and a keynote address by Mindy Lubber, Head of both Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a panel will discuss the effect of private investment choices on current and future CO2 emissions, as well as the impacts of the climate regime on investment choices.  The closing session will include business, analyst and United Nations perspectives on the issue.


The event will be webcast live at www.un.org/webcast.


Assembly President Kerim and Ms. Lubber will brief the press on 9 June at 11 a.m. in Room 226.


For more information, please visit www.un.org/climatechange; www.un.org/ga/president/62/ThematicDebates/thematicdebates.


For interviews, please contact Janos Tisovszky, Spokesperson for the General Assembly President, tel.: +1 917 367 2068, e-mail: tisovszky@un.org; or Dan Shepard, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: +1 212 963 9495, e-mail: shepard@un.org.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.