New Green Drivers of Growth

FRANKFURT – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has just released the final report of his High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF). As the two private-sector members of the AGF, we are proud of our work. The report lays out the available options for mobilizing $100 billion annually for climate-change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and establishes the conditions that would make it possible to achieve this goal by 2020.

One essential condition is setting a robust carbon price of $25 per ton of CO2 in order to unleash the large private-sector investments that are necessary to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy. We are concerned, however, that the political will for carbon pricing is lacking.

The world cannot wait until 2020 to find the necessary resolve: while international negotiations drag on and the momentum that has been generated in the private sector is in danger of dissipating, global warming is progressing. There is an urgent need to start producing concrete results now, based on several promising initiatives that deserve to be scaled up.

One such initiative is the REDD+ framework (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), an effort to create financial value for the carbon stored in rainforests. Dealing with deforestation and forest degradation cannot wait until 2020. The very resources that we need to protect will have been substantially depleted by then. Done properly, protecting rain forests is a cost-effective method both to abate climate change and to provide sustainable livelihoods for many millions of people now living in rural poverty.