New York, 27 January 2016 -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has challenged investors to at least double clean energy investments by 2020.

Speaking at the 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr Ban said the Paris Agreement on climate change concluded last month gave markets “the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that can generate low-emissions resilient growth”.

“The private sector is the engine that will drive the climate solutions we need to reduce climate risks, end energy poverty and create a safer, more prosperous future for this and future generations,” he said.

Mr Ban outlined a number of areas where action is needed to mobilize the “clean trillion” needed annually to fund sustainable energy investments.

These included converting the climate plans of developing countries into bankable projects. Pension funds need to use their influence as investors and shareholders to speed up the de-carbonization of the economy, and banks should scale up green bonds, boost lending to support green investments and reflect the growing risk inherent in the brown economy.

The Secretary-General also urged governments to create a level playing field for clean energy investment through carbon pricing, removing fossil fuel subsidies, and strengthening stable and predictable regulatory and investment environments.

The Investor Summit, co-hosted by Ceres, the United Nations Foundation and the UN Office for Partnerships, was designed to sustain the momentum from Paris and catalyze further actions that investors, businesses and governments can take to shift the economy to a low-carbon future.

As well as Mr Ban, speakers included Rachel Kyte, CEO of SEforALL and Special Representative of the Secretary General; former Vice President Al Gore; Michael Bloomberg; UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres; and Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan. Leading investors present included ABP, AXA, BlackRock, CalSTRS, New York City Comptroller, New York State Common Retirement Fund and many others.

Read the Secretary-General’s full statement

Photo credit: Power Africa