World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Climate Change: Inaction Will Cause Economic Risk

Ahead of UN Climate Change Talks, Investors Warn of Economic Risks of Inaction

New York, Nov 16 2010 5:10PM
The world risks economic crises larger than the recent global financial disruption unless governments, policy-makers and delegates to the forthcoming United Nations conference on climate change take action to combat global warming, major investors warned today.

Nearly 260 investors from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America, who collectively have assets valued at $15 trillion, said in joint statement that the potential climate-related gross domestic product (GDP) losses could soar up to 20 per cent by 2050 as a result of climate change.

Citing the economic benefits of shifting to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies, they called for national and international policies that will spur private investment into green technology.

“We cannot drag our feet on the issue of global climate change,” said Barbara Krumsiek, Chair of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative and Chief Executive Officer of the United States-based Calvert Investments. “Calvert is deeply concerned about the devastating impacts climate change – if left unaddressed – will have on the global economy,” she said.

The statement was released ahead of the climate change conference in Cancún, Mexico, which will open on 29 November with the world trying to agree on a new international climate change regime to succeed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under which industrialized countries committed themselves to a reduction of greenhouse gases.

While low-carbon global investment is increasing, especially in Asia, the investors said more private capital would be available for renewable energy, energy efficiency and other low-carbon technologies, if stronger policies were adopted.

They said that global clean energy investment is expected to rise to $200 billion this year, which is far less than the roughly $500 billion that Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the World Economic Forum says is needed per year by 2020 to restrict global warming to below 2 degrees.

North America lags well behind Europe and Asia in clean energy investment, having committed $20.7 billion in renewable energy projects in 2009, compared to $43.7 billion for Europe and $40.8 billion for Asia, according to a recent UNEP report.

“A basic lesson to be learned from past experience in renewable energy is that, almost without exception, private sector investment in climate solutions has been driven by consistent and sustained government policy,” said Ole Beier Sørensen, chairman of the Institutional Investor Group on ClimateChange and chief of Research and Strategy at the Danish pension fund ATP.

“Experiences from countries such as Spain, Germany and China show how structured policies can bolster investor confidence and help drive renewable energy investments,” he added.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>