LONDON. The chairman of the board of the Swiss banking giant UBS highlighted the importance of cooperation and regulation when it comes to raising capital related to sustainability and told CNBC that this is “not an easy task.”
“We must understand the urgency of the situation,” said Axel Weber. “We need to increase by 2050 … 120-160 trillion. [dollars] capital just to make sure we make the energy and carbon transition that we’ve been committed to so far. “
Weber’s comments were made against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Discussions on mobilizing finance are an important part of COP26 and will be in the spotlight on Wednesday, which has been named Finance Day.
“We are all together: markets, our customers, industry and banks as a financing instrument,” continued Weber. “We need to work together to achieve this, and we need regulation, we need rules … the entire market infrastructure needs to be built from scratch, and we don’t have time for that, so we’d better do it quickly.”
Weber went on to emphasize the importance of government action. “What we need is more commitment from the government[s] … We haven’t received enough commitments and we need transition funding. “
President Joe Biden’s attendance at the summit has been described by Weber as “an important turning point.” “The Americans are back at the table and they are helping us push this back,” he said. “We need to work on the rules, but we also need a global carbon price.”
He argued that the influence of carbon must be eliminated. “We need to set a price so that we get a price signal every day, in every industry, in every activity we do … The Chinese have started, there is already a carbon market in Europe – these are not prices where they should be, but prices will go up.”
COP26 is being held in the UK from 31 October to 12 November, and Weber’s sense of urgency echoes other high-profile figures such as Britain’s Prince Charles.
In a speech at the summit’s opening ceremony on Monday, the Prince of Wales called for action, telling those in attendance that time was “literally running out.”
A number of commitments have already been made at the conference. For example, on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2070.
In addition, more than 100 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Chinese Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, have pledged to end deforestation by 2030.
– Lucy Handley and Chloe Taylor of CNBC contributed to this report.