The Role of Private Sector Investment in Climate Change
Friday, September 19, 2014
This weekend, thousands of people will travel to New York for the annual week of activity surrounding the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative. This year, a special focus on the issue of climate change has spurred both an official Climate Summit at the UN and the People’s Climate March through the streets of New York. Also in the fore are continuing debates on the global development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals – eight ambitious goals agreed upon by the world’s governments almost 15 years ago — whose successor goals will crucially interweave social objectives — like employment, good health and education for all — with environmental and economic goals.
In the background of all these discussions is the question of where the money to do the right thing will come from. Assuming countries across the world can muster the political will to actually make bold, sustained commitments to ending poverty, providing decent jobs, providing universal health coverage, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is still the question of how to pay for it.
The role and nature of private sector investment in producing positive social and environmental outcomes remains hotly contested. And even more so is the role of business in delivering beneficial goods and services while aiming to make a profit. But the world can’t afford — literally — to overlook this sector’s contributions of capital and effort.