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Speeding up and scaling up finance into clean energy and energy efficiency, greening infrastructure, sustaining ecosystems like forests and coral reefs and enabling countries and communities to adapt is essential to staying below 2C degrees. Check out what's happening and how to benefit.

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As politicians and climate scientists gathered in Copenhagen for the presentation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2014 Synthesis Report on Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called upon companies to reduce their investment in fossil fuels.

Speaking at the press conference, Ban Ki-moon said:

I have been urging companies like pension funds or insurance companies to reduce their investments in coal and a fossil-fuel based economy to move to renewable sources of energy.

In his call for divestment, Ban Ki-moon joins a growing list of high-level figures advocating for divestment from fossil fuels including UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Archbischop Desmond Tutu and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The newly released IPCC report also addresses the crucial role of redirecting investments to achieving mitigation goals, stating that “substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns.” The IPCC expects that over the next two decades, annual investments in conventional fossil fuel technologies associated with the electricity supply sector will decline by USD 30 Billion, while investments in low-carbon electricity supply will rise by USD 147 Billion.

Ban Ki-moon’s statement adds to the growing momentum for fossil fuel divestment, boosted by commitments of foundations, representing USD 50 Billion, during Climate Week in September, to divest their fossil fuel holdings over the next five years. In October, following a campaign led by the university’s Climate Society, Glasgow University announced that it would sell its oil, gas and coal holdings valued at $18.7 million. Likewise, Australian pension fund Local Government Super announced that it would sell its holdings in companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal use.

Photo by IISD.

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