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Private sector should lead fight on climate change, Ban Ki-moon says in Washington

Private sector should lead fight on climate change, Ban Ki-moon says in Washington

Ban Ki-Moon
The private sector should take the lead on tackling the challenges posed by climate change, from investing in clean new technologies to encouraging countries and industries to make the necessary adaptations to change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told business leaders in Washington today.

Speaking to the United States Chamber of Commerce this afternoon, Mr. Ban said the role played by US businesses would prove particularly vital given their financial resources and historic leadership in technological innovation.

“We can promote economic growth, spur development and respond to climate change – this is not an either/or proposition,” he said. “Your ability to determine investment flows gives you great influence over the pace of innovation, technological change and adaptation.”

The Secretary-General called on business leaders to develop “innovative market mechanisms” as a means of combating climate change, particularly the perils raised by greenhouse gas emissions.

“I hope you will approach the carbon market as a major economic opening, one that has tripled in size $30 billion in just the past year alone. An expanded and improved carbon market is an essential part of the solution.” The carbon market is a mechanism allowing companies to trade emissions credits in order to ensure that mandated caps are met.

Climate change is also the focus of two other speeches that Mr. Ban is giving during his two-day visit to Washington that ends tomorrow.

Tonight he is expected to tell the National Association of Evangelicals that tackling climate change and global warming is a “moral imperative and a defining issue of our era.”

Mr. Ban will warn that the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide are in jeopardy from climate change.

“Without a strong global effort against global warming, we will fail in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the implicit human right to economic justice and development,” he said, referring to a set of antipoverty targets which leaders at a 2000 UN summit said should be reached by 2015.

The Secretary-General is also due to address the staff of the US Peace Corps tomorrow before returning to UN Headquarters in New York.