GCF private sector conference makes business case to lower planet’s climate costs
Songdo, 10 Oct 2019“Business cannot succeed on a planet that fails.”
This was how the Green Climate Fund’s Executive Director Yannick Glemarec articulated his call for enhanced business action to tackle the climate crisis during the Fund’s second global gathering focusing on the private sector.
The three-day Private Investment for Climate Conference wound up yesterday in Incheon, the Republic of Korea, with a clear message for businesses and other financial institutions to embrace the risks and opportunities posed by climate change.
Participants from over 100 countries gathered to explore how to tap the acumen of the business world and the power of profits to drive new trends in sustainable development. A key focus of the conference was exploring how to break through market barriers which currently mean that only a small fraction of more than USD 210 trillion of private sector assets is funnelled towards climate action.
“Businesses cannot afford to be passive about climate change,” said Mr Glemarec. “Because ultimately all investment will be impacted by climate risk.” While warning that untrammelled climate change “endangers the security and economic livelihoods of hundreds of billions of people,” the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Executive Director spoke positively about the business chances that will accompany the emergence of a low-carbon, climate-resilient global economy.
“The imperative to tackle climate action offers attractive investment opportunities in climate solutions including renewable energy, low-carbon cities, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and climate smart agriculture,” he said.
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon echoed Mr Glemarec’s call for greater business investment, especially in financing the fortification of countries and communities to better deal with the climate challenge.
“The threat of climate change is too big, too grave, too serious, and too urgent to delegate to governments and public institutions alone,” said Mr Ban, who is president of the Global Green Growth Institute – which, like GCF, is also based in the Republic of Korea. “Considering how urgently we are behind already in the struggle against climate change, we should be leveraging all of the available and scalable solutions, resources and technologies without delay.”
Emphasising the need to step up climate action, Mr Ban said the world is only months away from the start of a pledge by 2020 to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion of climate finance a year to developing countries. He called on governments and businesses to step up their cooperation in removing climate investment barriers – including political uncertainties and technological risks.