President Hollande to address Climate Week Paris as business gathered at the Business & Climate Summit makes strong call for agreement at COP21
- 18 May 2015
PARIS: Exactly 6 months before international climate treaty talks start in Paris, thousands of business leaders and investors are gathering in Paris to call for world leaders to deliver a strong climate deal which gives markets the confidence needed to make long-term investments in the low carbon economy.
Climate Week Paris, convened by The Climate Group around the Business & Climate Summit, starts today and features over 25 high level events, reflecting the continued momentum and support that the UN Climate Summit and Climate Week NYC built last year.
President Hollande of France has today confirmed he will attend the Business & Climate Summit, the principal event of the week. It will provide a central forum for over a thousand global business and political leaders, senior climate negotiators and policymakers. At the conclusion of the Summit, a series of recommendations will be presented to policymakers to help drive the dialogue leading to the UN’s COP21. Underlining the importance of business mobilization, President Hollande said: "France, in the framework of the conference presidency, wants businesses to play a major role. We want businesses to make a commitment, invest, innovate and prepare – with us, with the states, with the non-governmental organizations, with societies – tomorrow’s economy. The world’s driving forces must act to make the Paris agreement a success and get the process going to fight global warming. This is what I call the Paris climate alliance." (Davos Forum – January 2015)
Climate Week NYC last September saw the launch of RE100, a campaign to switch to 100% renewable energy across business operations. The initiative is supported by world-leading brands – including Ikea, Nestle and Mars. A report by the We Mean Business coalition published at Climate Week NYC 2014 showed internal returns on low carbon investments reaching over 20%. To mark the opening of Climate Week Paris, the campaign today announced its latest member, Unilever.
John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), who are partners for the Business & Climate Summit, said: “Bringing business leaders to Paris 200 days before the UN climate conference is as clear a statement as you can get that the private sector is fully committed to a successful outcome from COP21. We want the Business & Climate Summit to be a turning point in the way business and governments engage in the development of climate policy through to COP21, and beyond.”
Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, also a partner of the Business & Climate Summit, said: "Forward-thinking companies understand that ambitious climate action is the biggest opportunity for their business. During Climate Week Paris, many of those companies are here in Paris to scale up their action on climate as part of the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative led by WBCSD, the IEA and SDSN. Business is ready to bring solutions that support the global economy and global climate agenda, and we look forward to productive discussions with policymakers, who will be encouraged to set clear long-term emissions reduction targets."
Climate Finance Day, which is also part of Climate Week Paris, will aim to address the specific challenges and issues related to the financial sector’s “positive agenda”. Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman, Paris Europlace, Chairman & CEO, ENGIE and recently appointed Coordinator of the COP21 Business Dialogue, said: “Climate Week Paris will be an important step to encourage constructive and sustainable dialogue between the business community, financial sector, governments and international institutions. In the lead up to COP21, the French government and business have come together to launch the idea of a ‘Business Dialogue’, which will aim to develop concrete solutions to effectively achieve this low-carbon transition.
“These solutions will require huge investments. This is a challenge that the financial sector can help overcome. This is what the Climate Finance Day will showcase by gathering major financial actors – investors, banks and insurers.”
Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, the international non-profit which is convening Climate Week Paris – and which convenes the annual Climate Week NYC summit of world leaders and CEOs - said: “Businesses and investors are increasingly confident of investing in renewable energy, clean tech and smart infrastructure thanks to the growing evidence of the business and economic benefits. However they want a clear outcome at COP21 which gives them the long term certainty they need to massively scale up innovation, investment and deployment to the extent that it creates a real tipping point in the economy.
“Climate Week Paris is a massive show of force by the business community that they are leading the drive towards a strong low carbon economy, and that they want policymakers to enable them to succeed”.
All official Climate Week Paris events can be found on the website, available here.
For interviews or media enquiries on Climate Week Paris, please contact Beth Woodthorpe-Evans Media Relations Manager, The Climate Group
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About Climate Week Paris
Since it was launched by The Climate Group in 2009, Climate Week NYC has become a key international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on bold climate action and low carbon leadership.
The Climate Group will be organizing the first ever Climate Week Paris from May 18-24, during the most important year for climate action in history. Through key events, including the Business and Climate Summit, we are bringing the world’s leading companies and policymakers together to show climate action makes good business sense – and a strong global deal means a smart economy.
About the Business & Climate Summit
200 days before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the May 20 –21 Business & Climate Summit provides a unique forum for business and government leaders to demonstrate bold action, adopt forward-looking strategies and call for ambitious policies that will allow us to scale up solutions.
Responding to the UN Secretary General’s call for the private sector to take an active role, leaders of major businesses from around the world and from all sectors have joined forces to exchange with policy makers on the best ways to deploy low-carbon solutions at the right scale and pace. Business is ready to play its role in meeting the climate challenge.
RE100 is a global initiative that celebrates and supports major companies committed to 100% renewable power across their operations. Its goal is that 100 of the world’s most influential businesses commit to 100% renewable power within a specified timeline.
Led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP, with the support of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), RE100 shares the compelling business case for renewable power, addresses barriers to wide-scale adoption, develops transparent reporting mechanisms, and identifies the necessary regulatory reforms.
By massively increasing private sector demand for renewable power, RE100 will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market, thus enabling the transition to a prosperous low carbon future.
The following companies have joined RE100 and made a public commitment to going 100% renewable: BT Group, Commerzbank, Elion Resources Group, Formula E, H&M, IKEA, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re, Unilever, YOOX Group.
RE100 is an action of the We Mean Business coalition.
About The Climate Group
The Climate Group is an award-winning, international non-profit. Our goal is a prosperous, low carbon future. We believe this will be achieved through a ‘clean revolution’: the rapid scale-up of low carbon energy and technology. We work with corporate and government partners to develop climate finance mechanisms, business models which promote innovation, and supportive policy frameworks. We convene leaders, share hard evidence of successful low carbon growth, and pilot practical solutions which can be replicated worldwide.
Since 2009, The Climate Group has been the convenor of Climate Week NYC, an annual international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on bold climate action and low carbon leadership. In September 2014, Climate Week NYC hosted 150 events as the collaborative space in support of the UN Climate Summit.
The Climate Group has offices in Greater China, North America, India and Europe.
Please visit www.theclimategroup.org
Climate Week Paris takes place from May 18-24, 2015. See the full calendar of events at ClimateWeekParis.org