December 20, 2009 7:52 pm

Call to come clean on climate change

The negotiators at last week’s global climate change summit failed to say where the vast majority of the money needed to arrest global warming will come from, according to two United Nations-related

The asset owners on the board of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment have sent an open letter to the heads of state who attended the summit, calling for the long-term negotiation process to recognise their role and that of capital markets in making it possible to lower carbon emissions.

“Provision of private investment and finance will be fundamental to the creation of a climate resilient infrastructure,” said Donald MacDonald, chairman of the UN PRI board. The PRI is an investor initiative supported by more than 650 institutions representing more than $18,000bn in assets.

“The reality is that 80 per cent of the fund will come from private investment sources,” said Paul Clement Hunt, head of unit at the UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative. “There has always been a gap in the conversation between public and private financing and there is a strong sense of frustration [among representatives of the investment industry] that this part of the story is not being listened to.

“All we’re looking for is a reference, a foothold that says we have a role,” Mr Clement Hunt said.

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