Top global investors appeal for action on climate change – UN

17 September 2009

The world’s largest investors – collectively managing over $13 trillion in assets – have issued a United Nations-backed call for concrete action in the fight against climate change.

The statement signed by 181 investors yesterday in New York calls for a strong binding treaty to reduce pollution and catalyze global funding for low-carbon technologies.

The move comes ahead of this December’s UN talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nations are expected to ‘seal the deal’ on a new pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change has quite rightly been framed as the greatest market failure ever,” said Rob Tacon, Chair of the UN Environment Programme’s Financial Initiative (UNEP FI), a partnership between the agency and more than 170 financial institutions around the world.

“The magnitude of the negative economic impacts and the potential of climate change to bankrupt our global financial system, as well as to threaten the planet’s life-supporting natural ecosystems, are calling,” he added.

UNEP FI was one of the four top investor groups on climate change which coordinated yesterday’s statement.

The document calls for a new global climate treaty to include a target for emissions reductions of between 50 and 85 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050, as well as for government support for energy-efficient and low carbon technology.

It also appeals for action to reduce deforestation and support, as well as for support for adaptation measures.

Also today, a new UN-supported survey was released showing that nearly two-thirds of people around the world believe combating climate change would be a boon for the economy.

Some 20,000 people in 19 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and Latin America were polled by the firm GlobeScan, which also found that majorities of people in most of the nations surveyed believe that government moves to tackle global warming lead to national growth.

“The best science and the best economics have been telling governments for some time that fast and decisive action is needed on climate change,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

“Now leaders know that if they seal a good and transformative deal in Copenhagen, they will have the majority of public opinion on their side, too.”


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