An article from Reuters AlertNet.

Whatever the global climate agreement reached next year in Paris looks like, the private sector will need to dramatically step up efforts to cut global carbon emissions, negotiators and analysts said at UN climate talks in Lima Thursday.

Political leaders including US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and Peru’s President Ollanta Humala urged the private sector to play a bigger role in cutting carbon emissions because it makes good business sense.

Lima is the last major conference before the world is meant to reach agreement in Paris late next year on climate action beyond 2020.

Companies have long been peripheral in the UN-backed talks, but the leaders said the need to engage private capital is becoming increasingly obvious, given the scale of the problem.

“Climate change is a challenge which requires comprehensive action at all levels. We need convergence between leaders of indigenous peoples, the private sector and governments,” said Peru’s Humala.

Falling investment

Total climate-friendly investment fell in 2013, to $331 billion from $359 billion the year before, partly reflecting falling costs of renewable energy, but also lower investment in low-carbon projects, according to the Climate Policy Initiative, which works on energy and land use policy.

That lags far behind the $5 trillion to $6 trillion that the International Energy Agency says is needed in low-carbon energy investment through 2020.

“We are getting further behind what is needed,” said Barbara Buchner, senior director of the Climate Policy Initiative, at Lima.

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