Businesses Demand Action on Climate Change

by | Sep 22, 2009

climatechange2From the Copenhagen Communiqué to individual efforts, businesses across all industries are starting to flex their collective muscle to urge government leaders to develop a global plan to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest statement comes from a group of multinational manufacturers and service providers, including GE, the second-biggest maker of wind turbines, and BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, to demand that leaders agree at UN climate talks to cut emissions 85 percent by 2050 and to create a global carbon market, according to Bloomberg News.

A group of the world’s largest global investors, who collectively manage more than $13 trillion in assets, recently sent a similar statement to global policy makers to urge them to take strong action in the fight against global warming.

About 100 heads of state are meeting this week at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss ways to deal with climate change, reports Bloomberg News. Yvo de Boer, head of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, told Bloomberg, this is the first and only time world leaders are meeting before a new deal on climate change has to be decided on in December.

The companies that signed the statement, which include Siemens AG, Rio Tinto Plc, Coca-Cola Co, Starbucks Corp., British Airways Plc and BASF SE, are also demanding rules to keep developing countries from logging tropical forests and money to help the poor adapt to a warming planet, reports Bloomberg News.

At the same time, a group of more than 500 companies, has launched The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change, a statement from the global business community ahead of the Copenhagen meeting that calls for an “ambitious, robust, effective and equitable UN climate framework.

Companies that signed the statement range across several industries from food and beverage to chemical sectors and from countries including the U.S., European Union, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Leading corporations that signed the statement include BASF, Coca-Cola, Edison, EBAY, Four Seasons, Gap Inc., HP, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsico, P&G and Timberland.

The Copenhagen Communiqué is an initiative of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change which is run by The University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Some specifics of the plan include the establishment of a global emissions cap and long-term reduction path for all greenhouse gas emissions and sources from 2013 to 2050 with interim goals that must be guided by science. The group also wants developed countries to make immediate and deep emission reduction commitments that are much higher than the global average, which are supported by credible strategies to “de-carbonize” their economies.

Developing countries also will need to play their part by drawing up their own emission reduction plans in line with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities, according to the statement. Advanced developing countries also should continue to develop low-carbon growth plans, building towards the adoption of appropriate and economy-wide commitments by 2020, they stated.

Click here for the full two-page statement.

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