The top United Nations official today called on foreign ministers to prioritize the environment in domestic politics and contribute to climate financing as a way of moving towards a new global climate change agreement by 2015.
"This can do more than anything to unlock the huge investment necessary for climate change adaptation and mitigation," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a ministerial-level meeting on the margins of the UN-led climate change talks under way in the Polish capital, Warsaw.
"We must send the right policy signals," Mr. Ban said, adding that the development of high-impact opportunities would unlock clean energy investments, close the viability gap between green and fossil fuel-based projects and de-risk renewable energy and low-carbon investments.
He called for public finance, private finance, and support to the Green Climate Fund as three areas for common action.
"Smart public financing can encourage local and international private investments," the UN chief said, urging investors and companies to join forces with the public sector.
Mr. Ban today was scheduled to meet with chief executives and senior representatives attending the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum being held in Warsaw alongside the UN Climate Change Conference.
The Forum was launched by UN Global Compact, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
"The bulk of institutional investors' assets are in high0carbon investments," noted Mr. Ban.
"These investors have the power - and I believe the responsibility - to do their part in transforming the global economy and settling us on a safer path."
Mr. Ban also called for support to the recently established Green Climate Fund, which functions under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and supports projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries.
In addition, the Fund also aims to strengthen national ownership and enable countries to develop the capability and institutions needed to use climate finance effectively.
The UN chief described the current state of the new entity as "an empty shell" and called for it to be brought into full operation "as soon as possible" so support could be provided to developing countries' adaptation and mitigation efforts.