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Developing country investment on climate mitigation

International Development Minister Mike Foster has called for step change in the levels of investment being made to mitigate the impact of climate change.


Speaking at a high level meeting of international business leaders and academics, organised by Overseas Development Institute and Business Action for Africa, Minister Foster said the UK government was committed to supporting investment in low carbon technologies that will reduce global greenhouse gases but that the private sector had a central role to play.


'Business will be fundamental to achieving emissions cuts. In developing countries, the private sector typically contributes more than 70 per cent of total investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. But levels of investment will need to grow rapidly to achieve the estimated $200 billion which will be required annually by 2030 for climate mitigation.'


At Copenhagen, world leaders will negotiate a global climate change agreement which will include the financial and technical support to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.


Minister Foster said the UK would continue to push for an agreement at Copenhagen that global emissions should peak and start to decline before 2020, and that they should be cut by at least 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.


Low carbon investment


Minister Foster also highlighted a new report by Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank economist and author of the influential Stern review of climate change, which sets out the prerequisites for increasing investment in low carbon technologies.


Lord Stern called for: pricing carbon through markets with the private sector as their core; regulatory certainty to enable business to make investments; and using public financing mechanisms to encourage new investment.


'It is business success that creates employment and tax revenues, and can help pave the way for sustainable low carbon growth,' the Minister said, adding that the UK government was also helping companies analyse and reduce their own carbon footprints.