The world's largest investors -- collectively managing over 13 trillion U.S. dollars in assets -- have issued a United Nations-backed call for concrete action in the fight against climate change, UN officials said here Thursday.
The statement signed by 181 investors on Wednesday in New York called for a strong binding treaty to reduce pollution and catalyze global funding for low-carbon technologies, the officials said.
They signed the statement just less than one week before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convenes the UN Summit on Climate Change on Tuesday to generate momentum for a deal at the UN talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nations are expected to "seal the deal" on a new pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
"Climate change has quite rightly been framed as the greatest market failure ever," said Rob Tacon, chair of the UN Environment Program's Financial Initiative (UNEP FI), a partnership between the agency and more than 170 financial institutions around the world.
"The magnitude of the negative economic impacts and the potential of climate change to bankrupt our global financial system, as well as to threaten the planet's life-supporting natural ecosystems, are calling," he added.
UNEP FI was one of the four top investor groups on climate change which coordinated Wednesday's statement.
The document calls for a new global climate treaty to include a target for emissions reductions of between 50 and 85 percent of 1990 levels by 2050, as well as for government support for energy-efficient and low carbon technology.
It also appeals for action to reduce deforestation and support, as well as for support for adaptation measures.