Tackling climate change in the next quarter century will require major changes to patterns of investment and financial flows, according to a report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) issued this week.

“The study shows us that a conscious effort to shift from traditional investment to more climate-friendly alternatives will require governments to adopt new policies and change the way they use their funds,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.

“The required shift in future investment and financial flows needs a combination of actions by the intergovernmental process under the UNFCCC and national governments.”

The study analyzed both existing and potential investment and financial flows relevant to developing an international response to climate change. It found that the additional amount of investment and financial flows in 2030 will amount to between 1.1 and 1.7 per cent of global investment. Another key finding of the study is that $200 to $210 billion worth of additional investment and financial flows will be necessary to return greenhouse gas emissions to current levels.

“Developing countries will require a large share of investment and financial flows because of their expected rapid economic growth,” Mr. de Boer noted. “This presents a real opportunity.” In 2030, it is forecasted that investment flows to developing countries will comprise 46 per cent of global needs, while these nations would achieve 68 per cent of emission reductions worldwide.

The report will be discussed at the UNFCCC meeting in Vienna from 27 to 31 August, which will involve participants from all 191 countries that are party to the Framework. The gathering – expected to draw 1,000 representatives from governments, business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions – will set the stage for a major UN conference in December on further reducing the greenhouse gases from human activity blamed for global warming. That conference, to be held in Bali, Indonesia, from 3 to 14 December, seeks to determine future action on mitigation, adaptation, the global carbon market and financing responses to climate change for the period after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.


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