Unveiled: A new initiative to boost climate investments

The U.N. Climate Change secretariat and the World Economic Forum have teamed up to encourage public-private investments in climate adaptation and mitigation activities. Photo by: © sallie_shatz

The U.N. Climate Change secretariat and the World Economic Forum have teamed up to encourage public-private investments in climate adaptation and mitigation activities.

Under an initiative called “Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment,” the partners aim to “scale up all types of climate-friendly investment,” Thomas Kerr, head of climate change initiatives at the World Economic Forum, told Devex in an email. These include renewable energy, energy efficiency, low carbon transport, climate-resilient agriculture and water resources.

The plan is to inform stakeholders of the “practical ways and means to enable a global shift to environmentally and economically sustainable growth,” according to a press release. To do this, partners will issue a call for financing projects early 2013. These will be assessed against a set of criteria, which include “amount of private investment leveraged, greenhouse gas mitigation, adaptation impact, and innovation, among others.”

Climate finance has been subject to scrutiny in recent days. A number of organizations have reported that the $30 billion in fast-start finance that developed countries pledged in 2009 were delivered poorly. They also said the majority of funds were not new and formed part of countries’ official development assistance.

There have been a number of programs encouraging investments in renewable energy and clean fuel production this year. But the current level of investments is “far too low,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said in a press release.

“Public and private experts are in agreement that the vast majority of funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation must come from private sources, particularly in an era of government austerity,” Kerr said, adding government agencies are looking for the “most effective ways and means” to boost private-sector investment.

The initiative will run for three years.

Here are other discussions surrounding climate change and the conference in Doha:

  • The United States takes the issue of a fiscal crisis seriously, but seems “largely unmotivated” to address climate change, Senior Editor Bryan Walsh writes in an opinion piece for Time. He asks: “Why does one long-term problem scare us, and the other remain ignored?”

  • The Global Climate Risk Index 2013, released Tuesday at the climate change conference, reveals some of the worse natural disasters that happened in many parts of the world since 2000, such as the devastating floods in Thailand in 2011 and in Pakistan in 2010. The purpose of the report is to encourage participants in the conference to also include losses and damage due to climate change in their discussions.

  • Participants to the U.N. climate change conference have not yet fulfilled their main purpose after 20 years of talk: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a story published on Al-Jazeera. The article asks: “What do these climate talks actually achieve?”

  • Any new climate agreement must be gender-sensitive, stresses U.N. Women and its partners. While women can have significant contributions to addressing climate change, they are “often overlooked” in climate debates, according to a press release.

  • Rich countries are inclined to cooperate and move toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but “we need to see this in action,” Philippine Climate Change Commission Vice Chair Lucille Sering told ANC News in an interview.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.