United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has advised pension funds to invest in climate-friendly renewable energy to help move away from an economic model based on fossil fuels.
He was speaking at the launch of a pivotal report from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Copenhagen over the weekend.
Ban, who recently convened 800 business world leaders in New York to discuss ways to tackle climate change, said: “When I met yesterday with many world business leaders, including pension fund companies, I strongly advised and encouraged them to invest their money to fund wisely climate-friendly renewable resources of energy.
“Because we can as much as possible quickly turn our fossil-fuel-based economic model to renewable energy and alternative resources of energy. That has been my advice to them.”
The comments were reported in the UN’s official transcript of his off-the-cuff remarks before going in to a meeting with Danish ministers Martin Lidegaard and Helveg Petersen.
Ban said without the full participation and commitment of the business community and civil society, it will be very difficult for governments to lead the campaign on climate change. The UN Climate Summit in New York in September saw the launch by investor groups of apublic database of low carbon investments made by asset owners, called the Low Carbon Investment Registry.
The same month, Matthew Kiernan, founder of sustainable fund boutique Inflection Point Capital Management, urged Ban to set up an Expert Committee for Climate Change and Responsible Investment at the $51bn UN Join Staff Pension Fund.
The IPCC ‘Synthesis Report’ on climate change, which launched yesterday (November 2) at the Tivoli Congress Centre in Copenhagen, warns that the world must end its reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas by 2100 or the effects of climate change will be “severe, pervasive and irreversible”. Greenpeace, in its summary of the report, says it makes “grim reading”.
Ban said it was a “wake-up call” for world leaders: “The IPCC synthesis report has clearly stated without any ambiguity and with greater certainty that it is human influence which has been causing this climate change phenomenon.” At the same time he was encouraged the report presented “some options” that action taken now may put the earth onto a sustainable path.
The report distills the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months – what the IPCC calls the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken. IPCC Synthesis Report