Thomas Kerr makes a case for green investment

How can we deliver sustainable, resilient and low-carbon infrastructure while meeting energy needs and supporting economic growth – and, crucially, how can we find the money to pay for it? Those are the questions we will be exploring in Davos on Friday afternoon in a high-level dialogue on Transforming Investment. This will identify how private capital can be channelled into green growth, and how members of the Green Growth Action Alliance, a new public-private coalition, are helping to accelerate the transition.

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.

Delivering this transition is a challenge and will require significant investment – US$ 700 billion annually, according to the Forum’s new Green Investment Report, which was released on Monday, 21 January. Public funds play a vital catalytic role but will not be sufficient to deliver the capital that is needed. We need to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for private sector investment in sustainable infrastructure.

To meet this challenge, more than 60 leading companies, public finance agencies and NGOs formed the Green Growth Action Alliance at the Mexican G20 in 2012. The Alliance provides a platform where leaders can take practical action to develop new, financially attractive investment solutions for energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate-smart agriculture.

Friday’s session will be packed with more than 100 participants, including over 25 CEOs, over 10 heads of international organizations and government leaders, including Jürgen Fitschen, co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank, the President of Mongolia and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, among others. Together the group will identify the best opportunities to advance the pace and scale of green investment in 2013.

Author: Thomas Kerr is Director of Climate Change and Green Growth Initiatives at the World Economic Forum.

Image: View of a winter landscape REUTERS/ REUTERS/Osman Orsal