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Low-carbon economy ‘makes good business sense,’ Ban Ki-moon tells investors

Low-carbon economy ‘makes good business sense,’ Ban Ki-moon tells investors

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will not only help to combat climate change, but also promises to bring huge returns for investors, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told global business leaders.

“You are here today because you recognize climate change as an opportunity as well as a threat,” Mr. Ban told the large gathering at UN Headquarters in New York which brought together 450 participants, who together control $10-15 trillion in investment capital. “You understand that the shift to a low-carbon economy opens new revenue streams and creates new markets.”

He urged the investors to lead efforts to finance the technological innovation necessary for a shift to a green economy.

“The carbon market makes good business sense – it has doubled in size to $60 billion in the past year alone – and it makes good moral sense,” the Secretary-General, who has made climate change one of his top priorities since taking office last January, said at a dinner held last night.

The Investor Summit on Climate Risk, which was organized by the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the UN Foundation (UN Foundation) and Ceres, a network of investors and public interest groups that promotes green issues, aimed to provide a high-level forum for investment leaders to discuss the scale and urgency of climate change risks.

Attendees included leading institutional investors, financial services firms and United States state treasurers.

Alex Sink, the Chief Financial Officer of Florida, told reporters that his state is “at risk from climate change,” but voiced his determination to tackle the issue.

“There is a financial imperative and it grew out of an environmental concern,” he noted.

The Treasurer of California underscored the strong links between environmental sustainability and profitability.

“We have to be clean, green and sustainable,” Bill Lockyer said at the same press briefing.

Yesterday, a three-day General Assembly event on climate change wrapped up with the body’s President Srgjan Kerim emphasizing the importance of global partnerships and the need to define a clear global strategy to stemming the impacts of global warming.