Tuesday, May 26, 2009

World Business Summit On Climate Change Concludes

May 26: Global business leaders assembled in Copenhagen at the at the World Business Summit on Climate Change May 24-26 2009, concluded their meeting calling for what they say is "ambitious, global action on climate change." The businesses announced that a new global climate treaty must set bold targets for emissions reductions by 2020 and 2050, limiting the global average rise in temperature to a maximum of 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. They said this requires immediate and substantial action leading to an abatement of around 17Gt versus business-as-usual by 2020 and a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases over 1990 levels by 2050.

The business leaders indicated in their recommendations, referred to as "The Copenhagen Call," that emissions reduction at this scale will profoundly affect business but the "Call" states that they stand ready to make those changes and support ambitious political decisions that support economic recovery and safeguard the planet. The "Call" forms the basis of a concise statement, which sets out the elements business believes are required for an effective new global climate treaty to be forged.

The Copenhagen Call was developed by discussion with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development; 3C; the World Economic Forum; the UN Global Compact and The Climate Group, and deliberations among participants at the Summit.The recommendations were presented to the Danish Prime Minister, Lars L√łkke Rasmussen and Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in advance of the COP 15 Conference in December.

Tim Flannery, an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer, conservationist and Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council said, "The ambition of the Copenhagen Call shows that business need not be a conservative voice on climate change. Many of the businesses represented at this significant event in the lead up to COP15 want brave decisions that will tackle this most wicked of problems." According to the Call, "Economic recovery and urgent action to tackle climate change are complementary -- boosting the economy and jobs through investment in the new infrastructure needed to reduce emissions."

Erik Rasmussen, Founder of the Copenhagen Climate Council said, "Reducing the emissions that until now have been so linked to our economic growth and betterment will be an enormous, unprecedented global challenge but will also provide significant opportunities for sustainable growth, green jobs, development and innovation."

In order to set a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future, the leaders said it is imperative that the following six steps are implemented: (1) Agreement on a science-based greenhouse gas stabilization path with 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets that will achieve it; (2) Effective measurement, reporting and verification of emissions performance by business; (3) Incentives for a dramatic increase in financing low emissions technologies; (4) Deployment of existing low-emissions technologies and the development of new ones; (5) Funds to make communities more resilient and able to adapt to the effects of climate change, and (6) Means to finance forest protection.

The Copenhagen Climate Council is a global collaboration between business and science founded by the leading independent think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning, based in Copenhagen. Major business partners include: Combat Climate Change (3C) a business leaders' initiative endorsed and actively promoted by the top executives of 65 of the world's largest corporations; and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.

Access a release from the Summit (
click here). Access the Copenhagen Call document (click here). Access the Copenhagen Climate Council website for additional information (click here).