The leaders of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, HSBC Holdings and Australia's Macquarie Group urged governments to get more involved in the green transition by providing incentives to develop new technology and help bring down costs.
The trio were speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, days after the COP26 climate summit concluded with a deal that for the first time targeted fossil fuels as the key driver of global warming, though many delegations hoped to have achieved more.
"The hardest move is that political first move because then you create the market conditions," said HSBC Chief Executive Noel Quinn, pointing to risks that the private sector had no control over, including changing political landscapes.
The CEO of financial conglomerate and the world's largest infrastructure investor Macquarie, which plans to step up green energy investments, urged governments to provide more incentives.
Shemara Wikramanayake said governments can encourage private sector investments by supporting the process of funding and building new technology, such as hydrogen and carbon capture, and then exiting.
"While there will be a lot of private financing and capital available, it cannot be done without public financing," said Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran.
Tata Sons is working with Macquarie on the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative in India in partnership with Bloomberg.
Both Quinn and Wikramanayake highlighted that lowering costs of developing and running renewable energy won't take as much time as the development of solar and wind energy in the earlier phases of moving towards renewables.
"The weight of the world is now behind this, wind and solar - you could argue - led the way and the weight of the world was not behind wind and solar, but there is so much momentum amongst the private sector and the public sector," Quinn said.
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