United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday tapped UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg to lead an initiative that will support a global mobilisation of private capital in response to the challenge of climate change. An announcement was made during the 73rd UN General Assembly session here. The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative will work to fulfill the private financing objectives included in the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, which reaffirmed the goal of mobilizing at least $100 billion per year by 2020 through a combination of public development finance and private foreign direct investment.
“Mobilising resources from the public and private sectors is critical to tackling the issue of climate change,” said Secretary-General Guterres. “In this year of action leading up to my climate summit, Mike Bloomberg, my Special Envoy for Climate Action, has agreed to convene private sector leaders through this initiative and work closely with leading governments to help ensure we can meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”
Finance is critical to achieving the nationally determined goals laid out by governments under the Paris Agreement, and to enabling the enhanced ambition of cities, states and regions to contribute to such goals. The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative will draw members from top international financial firms and corporations to catalyse scaled-up investments in clean energy and climate resilience projects around the world, in both developed and emerging markets.
The initiative will have a one-year term culminating in a UN Climate Summit to be held in September 2019. Founding members will be announced before the end of the year.
“The market’s allocation of capital is a powerful weapon in our fight against climate change. As climate risks and opportunities become more transparent, investors and businesses are increasing financing for climate solutions,” said Bloomberg. “I’m glad to help the Secretary-General accelerate this critical transition over the coming year.”
Earlier in the day, Secretary-General Guterres invited President of France Emmanuel Macron, along with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, to lead on the issue of scaling up climate finance over the coming year. The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative will work closely with the government of France in supporting its presidency of the G7 in 2019, and will provide a first report to G7 Finance Ministers by July 2019.
“Thanks to international initiatives such as the One Planet summits in 2017 and 2018, and the close cooperation with UN Special Envoy for climate action Michael Bloomberg, we are seeing for the first time since the Paris Agreement an extraordinary dynamic between the public and the private sectors, the scientific community and the finance leaders, CEOs and NGOs, catalysed and galvanised around a single solutions-oriented climate agenda,” said President Macron. “We must accelerate again our efforts in the months to come,” he said.