No way to fix climate without private sector: UNDP
HELSINKI (Reuters) - The private sector must be encouraged to help developing countries combat climate change now, before it becomes too severe to handle, the head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said.
Kemal Dervis said that while public transfers in form of official development assistance should be used to assist in "adaptation," or protection against potential catastrophes, the private sector should help finance long-term solutions.
"The shared mitigation costs will have to go through market mechanisms and will have to involve very strongly the private sector," he said on Thursday evening after giving a lecture on climate change.
"If there is no mitigation....then the impact on developing countries 20-30 years from now will become much more severe and the adaptation needs, climate proofing, building dams against floods, changing agricultural crops...will become huge and impossible to handle."
Developing countries such as India and China are already trying to reduce their carbon emissions, mainly to save on energy, but have baulked at doing more without technological and financial help from Europe, Japan and the United States.
Dervis also said that while the private sector involvement could come from the developing countries themselves, it should be supported by international financing mechanisms.
"We must build incentives that if you come up with a technology that does reduce emissions, you profit from it," he said, adding that by doing so rich countries would win as well.
"If rich country companies can get some of the emission reductions indirectly by investing in poor countries, you have a solution whereby they continue to produce more profitably at home, but also lead towards cleaner energy work."
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Philippa Fletcher)