Three weeks to go, 20 events, five days: Climate Week Paris is fast approaching

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29 April 2015

LONDON: With three weeks to go until the first ever Climate Week Paris, there are now twenty events confirmed, with key international leaders ready to gather in the French capital.

The international, high-level gathering organized by The Climate Group will be crucial to build momentum for the important Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris at the end of December, when heads of state and government will convene to agree a global deal to curb pollutant emissions and lay the foundation of the new low carbon economy.

Corporate and civil society will be central in showcasing the economic and social benefits of this pathway at Climate Week Paris. Here, international leaders will highlight how COP21 must be the first step toward such an inevitable pattern of sustainable economic growth.

Business call

The cornerstone event of Climate Week Paris, Business and Climate Summit, will illustrate how businesses are pushing to “work together to build a better economy”. The two-day high-level meeting will demonstrate how current climate solutions being embraced by innovative companies are helping them save money while curbing their emissions and energy use.

This bold message will be convened by almost 50 speakers from prominent companies such as L’Oreal, Solvay, Axa, Enel, Edf, Nestle and Unilever. During the Summit, they will reinforce their call for action by focusing on changing investment patterns to shape a comprehensive and pragmatic vision of future business.

“Paris is important because of the actions that will both drive and be driven by a treaty to curb emissions,” says Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group. “Innovative business leaders can also turn climate change into a valuable opportunity, by supporting a successful outcome at COP21.

Today the global low carbon economy is worth an impressive US$5 trillion, and it grew on average 11.8% per year in 2007-2010, compared to only 2.4% for the global economy as a whole. It’s clear that clean technology is commercially viable and ready for scale-up.

And forward-looking businesses are already seeing the benefits of their low carbon investments. A 27% internal rate of return on average to be precise, according to a recent We Mean Business report.”

Finance

Businesses are calling policymakers to follow the inevitable, advantageous low carbon pattern. But companies also need crucial financial support. During Climate Week Paris, another key moment, Climate Finance Day, will push this topic by assessing how investors can be ahead of the risks and opportunities of climate change.

Opened by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the meeting will analyze in particular how institutional investors can bring their portfolios in line with the agreed safe global temperature rise limit of 2°Celsius increase above the pre-industrial level.

Izabella Kaminska, journalist from the Financial Times, will moderate this first roundtable to further discuss bold strategies for businesses’ climate objectives. Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility, will then moderate the second panel on assessing, financing and insuring against climate risk.

How to finance for climate action while tackling investment challenges, will be the topic of a keynote speech by Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President, European Investment Bank and of the third roundtable, which will look at exploring tools and financial products tailored to shift capital.

The fourth roundtable, moderated by Nick Robins, Co-Director, Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, UNEP, will explore innovations for a sustainable financial system such as policies, regulations, standards.

In less than a month, Paris will be the epicenter of a refreshed drive toward the low carbon economy, building momentum to find a global deal able to open the doors of this new era. Climate Week Paris will be pivotal for sharing evidence of how such a transition is not just the only choice; but the smart one.

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