Climate talks mark a step forward, but enhanced private sector collaboration is needed
ICC congratulates the South African presidency for leading the efforts in concluding the 17th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and welcomes the decision to negotiate a new and inclusive legal agreement on climate change by 2015, which will take effect by 2020. ICC also applauds the substantive decisions taken on several key elements of the Cancun Agreements, in particular those relating to market approaches, technology and adaptation.
But while the outcome in Durban represents a strong positive step for international cooperation to respond to climate risks and move towards a low-carbon economy, ICC also recognizes the many challenges remaining, particularly the on-going rise in greenhouse gases, and the need to address adaptation and meet growing energy demand in sustainable ways.
As ICC highlighted throughout the Durban conference, business has already taken significant actions to meet the climate challenge. At the Durban Global Business Day, participants expressed a strong desire for a clear, consistent and predictable set of rules to scale-up private sector investment and technological innovation. Indeed, with the right market signals and enabling frameworks, open trade and investment can serve as global accelerators to drive technology and finance that promote sustainable development while addressing climate risks.
In Durban, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier stressed that the fight against climate change is far too important for any further setbacks to a truly comprehensive global framework. “Slow progress in delivering the elements of the UNFCCC Durban platform would hamper the opportunity to catalyze the private sector to meet this important challenge. Global business is not looking for perfect solutions, but ones that work," Mr Carrier said. “ICC will work with governments and the private sector to ensure businesses all over the world play a critical role to drive sustainable economic growth and development,” he said.
Building the Durban outcome into an effective and acceptable international framework will require the early, substantive engagement of the global business community, which can bring its expertise and advice on many issues, including in the establishment of the "Green Climate Fund", the operation of the Technology Mechanism, and the enhancement of market mechanisms and partnerships to implement the Durban outcomes.
Moving forward, and in the context of deep and inter-related international crisis, ICC will ensure that the global business community stays involved and offers comprehensive solutions that can drive economic growth, environmental benefits, and social development in a mutually reinforcing fashion, whether in the UNFCCC process, the Rio+20 Conference or at the G20 Summit in Mexico.
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Gilles VERMOT DESROCHES
Senior VP Sustainability, Schneider Electric