Written By: Jeremy Feakins
Yesterday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for increased financial investments towards combating climate change, stressing that time is running out.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the International Development Finance Club (IFDC) in Washington, D.C yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to increase its financial investment into policies, practices and technologies aimed at tackling the global threat of climate change.
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development. Yet too often, one important fact gets lost amid the fear: addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities”, said Ban.
He added, “With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health and protect the environment. Nor do we need to wait for the breakthroughs of tomorrow; the technologies, policies and practices in our hands today can help us speed up and scale up mitigation and adaptation action at every level.”
To help achieve this goal Ban announced that he would be hosting a Climate Summit in September 2014, bringing together both global Heads of State and Government and global leaders from finance, business and civil society.
“Our goal is mobilize political will for the negotiations, deliver concrete new commitments and spark a race to the top in climate action”, Ban said.
Highlighting the role that the development finance community and finance sector can play in creating solutions for climate change, he pointed out the need for large amounts of capital in developing low-carbon infrastructure and increased investments into green enterprises.
“Over the past six years, development banks within the IDFC have provided impressive green finance commitments, including $79 billion in climate financing in the last year alone”, said Ban.
He added, “At the same time, we must do more, especially given the clear and growing economic impact of climate change.”
Mr. Ban additionally pointed out the critical role that development banks can also play in combating climate change, saying that attempts to make economies focused on being climate-resilient would provide insight for other financial sectors to follow suit.
“Development banks have proven that smart public financing can spur local and international private sector investments and meet the growing demand for energy and climate resilience”, said Ban.
The UN Secretary-General summarized his speech by reminding delegates of the urgent need for climate action.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we need to scale up our efforts and our ambition. The climate clock is ticking. The longer we delay, the greater the costs – to communities, to businesses, to economies and to the planet.”
“Together we can rise to this existential challenge and build a better, more secure world for future generations.”
Earlier this month, Ban Ki-Moon also called for global water conservation, after warning that in less than two decades, half of the global population could be facing water shortages.