Dr. Steve Howard outlines Climate Group plans for 2007
- 17 January 2007
2006 was an important year for the world's progress towards a low carbon economy. Amongst many new developments, public concern over climate change reached new heights in many western countries, the largest US state economy California passed into law a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and through the Stern Review the UK Government advanced our understanding of the economics of action (and inaction). We saw leading corporations and governments taking bolder steps to address climate change through sustainable energy, clean technologies and strategic new partnerships. Many also communicated more comprehensively on the actions they are taking.
The Climate Group was delighted to play a role in a number of significant developments in 2006, working with companies such as BSkyB and HSBC on the formulation of their ambitious climate protection strategies, convening a CEO Climate and Energy Roundtable with California Governor Schwarzenegger and Prime Minister Tony Blair, supporting leaders from proactive states and regions around the world, and working to standardize the voluntary carbon market.
Despite some good progress, however, momentum for a lower carbon future is only just beginning to take hold. So what are The Climate Group's priorities for 2007?
Firstly, in order to more effectively tackle a challenge of such scale, we will continue to expand our capacity and reach. Our US programme will grow strongly in 2007 through our team in New York and Oakland, and we plan to launch new programmes in China, India and Germany. We will continue to work with leaders internationally across public and private sectors, looking to develop new partnerships to catalyse progress.
We will continue to work with influential corporations, including new members Virgin, AIG, JPMorgan and Man Group, to support their leadership and seek out new collaboration opportunities. We will launch an exciting public engagement and behavioral change campaign with a coalition of companies and other public-facing organisations. Current partners in the initiative have the potential to reach 250 million individuals internationally through their customer relationships and marketing activities.
Our work with national governments will continue to support policy development by demonstrating the benefits of tackling climate change for national economies. 2007 in particular presents an opportunity for the G8 to build on Gleneagles and make significant new commitments under its German presidency.
We will work with city governments and business leaders to develop new partnerships to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from urban economies, focusing initially on London, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Mumbai. This programme will include work in partnership with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Clinton Climate Initiative and others.
Finally, our States and Regions Climate Alliance, launched at the UNFCCC COP 12 in Nairobi to take forward the commitments made in its Montreal Declaration, will focus on sharing best practice on policy development and implementation. The Climate Group will work to grow the Alliance and drive it forward during 2007, culminating in a next summit meeting at COP13 in December.
Our plans for the year are ambitious but more than matched by the scale of the challenge and opportunity we collectively face. I look forward to working with all of our members, partners and supporters in the year to follow.
Dr Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group