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COP17: Over 300 business leaders call for urgent government action

23 November 2011
COP17: Over 300 business leaders call for urgent government action

LONDON: More than 325 business leaders' signatures have been collected in The Climate Group supported 2°C Challenge Communiqué, which calls for national governments to break the current deadlock in international climate negotiations and drive the global Clean Revolution forward

The 327 signatories represent business leaders from 37 countries, covering a wide variety of sectors including energy, finance and manufacturing, and who make up the Corporate Leaders Network for Climate Action.

Members of The Climate Group, Alstom, BT, Cisco, CLP Holdings, Coca-Cola, HP, Philips, Standard Chartered, Swire Pacific and Swiss Re endorse the 2˚C Challenge Communiqué, which demands a ‘robust, equitable and effective agreement’ on climate change at next week’s COP17 in Durban.

The Communiqué outlines how the window of opportunity to stabilize warming to 2°C is ‘almost closed’ and that urgent action must be taken by governments at national level to limit ‘permanent damage to their credibility’ and ensure a successful transition to a low carbon economy.

With the right action, it is written that governments will ‘secure a low carbon-emission economy that is more resilient, more efficient and less vulnerable to global shock’, and that without a global deal, ‘business will have insufficient clarity or certainty of action to invest to its full potential’.

But in case of disappointment at Durban, the Communiqué also writes: ‘But we cannot, and should not, wait for a new international treaty to be in place. All governments must adopt the national policies and measures that drive action, without delay. As business leaders, we believe that the only sustainable future for our companies and for the globe is to build a robust, green, climate‐resilient economy. We must continue to focus on this as we move out of economic turmoil, and not let short‐term concerns, however important, drive climate change off the agenda.’

This is the fifth in a series of corporate climate statements, built on the foundation of the Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen and Cancun Communiqués, which were initiated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (CLG) and managed and developed by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL).

Speaking ahead of the Communiqué’s official launch in October, Christiana Figueres, Chair of the UNFCCC negotiations said: "Governments have already established a clear, collective path to a low carbon future but the world will need to cut emissions faster in the coming years to meet the full challenge of climate change. The companies endorsing The 2˚C Challenge Communiqué set a great example. Corporate leadership that provides powerful vocal support for action gives governments the greater confidence they need to move forward a global climate change agreement that will ultimately cover the current ambition gap."

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, commented on the company’s endorsement of the Communiqué: “When it comes to climate change, the time has come to do more than just mind our own business.” 

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group says: ‘We are proud to be supporting The 2˚C Challenge Communiqué. It is influential leadership like this that will be remembered for driving forward the transformational change of the Clean Revolution.’

More about the 2°C Challenge Communiqué

Further reading

Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, will also be writing news and analysis throughout COP17, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP17.

Our international policy teams are also commenting on key regional positions in the lead-up to Durban; read about the US, India and China.

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