"Demand, purchase and use low carbon products and services. Make low carbon sexy!": Christiana Figueres on how business and consumers can fuel climate talks

Clare Saxon Ghauri
8 September 2014

LONDON: On September 8 we hosted a live Twitter Q&A with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to talk about the importance of business engagement around climate change and low carbon growth, ahead of Climate Week NYC and the UN Climate Summit which take place in New York later this month. Here are just a few of the highlights.

The questions quickly started with a forecast of Paris 2015, the critical UN conference where governments from around the world are expected to achieve a binding agreement on climate: “There is no other option,” underlines Christiana Figueres:

The UN climate chief outlined how a "hugely useful" instrument to mobilize citizens and business toward this objective is Climate Week NYC, which takes place from September 22-28:

Climate Week NYC is also the collaborative space for all related events in support of the high-profile UN Climate Summit, where global business and political leaders will work toward the common goal of a sustainable economy. Christiana Figueres explained how businesses can get involved to help make the Summit a success.

Digging deeper into actions that are expected to come out of the Summit, Christiana tweeted: “At the #Climate2014 Summit, many businesses and governments are expected to strongly support a price on carbon.” She further spotlighted how there are many low carbon, economic opportunities for business that are still not being fully explored:

Climate Week NYC will also see the launch of “We Mean Business”, a coalition of some of the world’s most influential business groups working to drive climate action and low carbon growth.

While the Executive Secretary was quick to show her support of the corporations and governments that are creating a network to share experiences and find common way to progress, there were several questions about how everyday consumers too, can help drive the business transition to a cleaner, safer world. Christiana Figueres' responses were clear that power does lie with consumer choice, as well as through strategic business decisions:

From having opened with Paris 2015, the Q&A closed on COP20 Lima 2014. When asked what she expects from the global climate talks, specifically from business, she said: “Governments put regulatory framework, while companies technology, assets and momentum.”

Christiana Figueres also announced her participation in the People’s Climate March on September 21 in New York, an affiliate event of Climate Week NYC, which is expected to attract the biggest numbers for a public march in history; a strong statement from a global climate leader who is clearly not going to stop working tirelessly for the cause any time soon:

The next guest in our series of Twitter chat will be America's most-watched TV weather anchor, The Weather Channel's Sam Champion. Sam will talk about American people's awareness of and appetite for bold climate action. Keep an eye on our Twitter account and the hashtag #CWNYC for more Q&A news.

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