By January 27, 2016 Read More →

UN chief wants clean energy investments doubled by 2020

Increase in clean energy investment an important part of Paris summit

2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk - Remarks by the Secretary-General Co-hosts: United Nations Foundation, Ceres and the United Nations Office for Partnerships

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told 500 global investors at a summit at the UN that the world is counting on them to transform the global economy.  UN photo.

On Wednesday, the U.N. secretary-general is challenging investors around the world to at least double their investments in clean energy by 2020.

Ban Ki-moon told over 500 global investors at the UN investor summit on climate risk that increasing investment in clean energy is critical in following up on the landmark Paris agreement.

“The world now counts on you to act at the speed and scale needed to transform the global economy. To keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees, and even 1.5 degrees, we must begin the shift away from fossil fuels immediately. We need a massive scaling up of investments in clean energy and energy efficiency,” he said.

Ban laid out five steps for the investor action.

  • National climate plans of developing countries must be financed, with institutional investors particularly well placed to provide the significant amounts of capital needed.
  • Pension funds must use their influence as investors and shareholders to accelerate the rapid de-carbonization of the economy.
  • The banking sector must continue scaling up the green bond market while changing its lending practices to support green investments, reflecting the growing risk in the brown economy.
  • The insurance industry must strengthen climate resilience and disaster risk reduction efforts, especially in the most vulnerable countries.
  • Investors need to know how the impacts of climate change can affect specific companies, sectors and financial markets as a whole, with clearer disclosure.

Ban says that about $330 billion was invested in clean energy last year, but that is far from what he calls the “clean trillion” needed per year in the decades to come.

Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres and director of its Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) said investors are better positioned than ever before to address climate risks and seize the economic opportunities presented by clean energy.

“Ultimately, global investment portfolios need to shift far more capital to low-carbon business activity and away from risky high carbon sectors that may perform poorly in the years ahead,” she added.

The U.N. chief also says he has invited all of the world’s heads of states and government to attend an April 22 signing ceremony for the climate agreement, and that 55 countries’ signatures are needed to put the agreement into effect.

With files from The Canadian Press

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