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Business, government leaders discuss "Implementing Copenhagen"

05 November 2009
Business, government leaders discuss "Implementing Copenhagen"

The Catalan Government and The Climate Group convened businesses, subnational and national governments at a high-level conference in Barcelona to discuss the implementation of a Copenhagen deal.

With keynote speeches by UNFCCC Secretary-General Yvo de Boer, President of Catalonia Jose Montilla and Spanish Climate Change State Secretary Teresa Ribera, the event focussed on the key elements of a global deal in Copenhagen and its implementation.

Across the board, speakers and panelists emphasized the need for an agreement in Copenhagen; for scaling up existing solutions, especially energy efficiency and renewables; and importantly, of multi-level government and business co-operation to reduce emissions and drive the development and deployment of low carbon technologies.

Yvo De Boer stressed that, "We only have a small window of opportunity now and when opportunity knocks, one still has to open the door. Both government and business need to scale up the level of ambition".   Read his full address on the UNFCCC website.

This was echoed by Teresa Ribera who reaffirmed that the Spanish presidency of the EU in the first half of 2010 will ensure that Europe continues to show leadership and look to engage with all sectors in the implementation of the new international agreement.

The theme of opportunity was also taken up by many of the participants, who converged around the need for a stable policy regime with clear targets and incentives to provide consistent signals to business and investors. For example, President Montilla said, "In a context of global economic crisis, all governments need to draw up economic recovery plans that include the fight against climate change. Our companies should also take the climate issue into account, as there are great opportunities to be seized if the targets are clear and shared."

Panels included ministers from the regional governments of Scotland, Ile-de-France, Brittany, Aragon; officials from Quebec, North-Rhine-Westphalia and Basque Country; and representatives of the International Chamber of Commerce, Endesa, Iberdrola, Eurelectric, Foment del Treball (Catalan Business Association) and several others. Speakers from the UNDP and the European Commission also contributed actively to the discussions

One highlight of the event was the announcement by Minister Stevenson of Scotland's membership of the Climate Group, joining other state and regional governments in the forefront of action to combat climate change both at home and by supporting their partners in developing countries to build capacity on mitigation and adaptation.

The Climate Group looks forward to intensifying its co-operation with business and governments in Spain over the coming months.

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