Governments, investors and financial institutions today pledged to mobilize $200 billion by the end of next year for low-carbon programmes in developing countries, giving a significant boost to the United Nations goal of reaching $100 billion annually by 2020.
“This will serve as a catalyst in finalizing a universal and meaningful agreement at Paris on climate change in 2015,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he hosted the largest ever summit of world leaders on climate change at UN Headquarters in New York to prepare the ground for a global accord at a summit in the French capital in December next year.
Today’s agreement combines public and private financing, including pledges by donor and developing countries to capitalize the Green Climate Fund aimed at helping developing countries shoulder the burden of slashing emissions.
“The Summit has created a platform for new coalitions and has brought leaders from both public and private sectors across the globe to not only recognize climate risks, but to agree to work together,” Mr. Ban said of today’s gathering.
The private sector announcements were made by an unprecedented coalition of financial institutions, pension funds, insurance companies, development banks and commercial banks which had never previously acted together on climate change at such a large scale.
The Summit also marked a major advance in efforts by Governments and businesses to set a price on greenhouse gas emissions, a step that offers investors and consumers an accurate reflection of the true cost of goods and services. More than 50 countries and 500 companies endorsed the need for developing mechanisms that would adequately reflect the true costs relating to pollution and emissions.
In a major departure from the climate negotiations and previous climate summits, the business community and civil society are playing a major role. There were 181 representatives from the business and investment community, including 90 chief executive officers. There were 52 business and investors from developing countries. In addition, there were dozens of civil society representatives.