WEF climate talks seek new ways to unlock private finance

Business leaders must find a way to turn climate crisis into an investment opportunity for sustainable infrastructure, according to a senior figure at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

As WEF talks continue in Davos, Switzerland this week, the forum’s director of climate change & green growth initiatives Thomas Kerr said high-level dialogue was needed to identify ways to channel private capital into green growth.

Writing in his blog on the WEF website, Kerr questioned: “How can we deliver sustainable, resilient and low-carbon infrastructure while meeting energy needs and supporting economic growth?”

He continued: “As the frequency of extreme weather events increases – and the price tag rises – cash-strapped governments are seeking to deliver infrastructure solutions that are sustainable, build climate resilience and ensure economic growth and dynamism.”

According to WEF’s own report on green investment released earlier this week, realising this vision will require significant investment – $700bn annually. While public funds can play a catalytic role, they won’t be sufficient to deliver the amount of capital that is needed.

A new public-private coalition, the Green Growth Action Alliance, was set up last year to help accelerate this transition.

Its members including businesses, public finance agencies and NGOs will convene in Davos later today to discuss how best to advance the pace and scale of green investment over the next 12 months.

Maxine Perella

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