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Private sector innovation, investment and expertise will be vital if we are to successfully tackle climate change and promote sustainable and inclusive growth. We believe climate change is everyone’s business.

Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time. The related challenges are inextricably linked with society’s urgent need for more energy, increased development and population, and greater economic growth.

As the science of climate change becomes clearer, so does the need to set the right business priorities to stem its effects.

The adoption of a historic global climate agreement in 2015 was a defining moment, providing business and investors the long-term certainty needed to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions.

With the path to a low-carbon economy firmly set, business is already at work to turn those ambitions into a reality.

ICC has played a central role in the UNFCCC process since its inception over 20 years ago as the global focal point for business. We are also Observers to the Green Climate Fund, established at COP 16 in Cancun and an Advisory Board Member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Industry Platform.

Following an unprecedented mobilization of business leaders from around the world during the climate negotiations, the private sector now stands ready to work with governments to speed emissions reductions and build climate resilience.

ICC member companies, of all shapes and sizes from around the world, are already taking the lead on delivering and deploying powerful solutions that support the global climate agenda and the COP21 agreement.

Businesses are already innovating to develop the technological, organizational and financial solutions needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to changing climate patterns.

They are:

  • Proactively developing and implementing their own climate strategies
  • Adopting a life cycle approach which involves further minimizing their carbon footprint
  • Integrating “environmental externalities” into corporate strategies
  • Establishing new business models to reduce emissions at the same time as creating shared value for society as a whole.

To scale up these solutions, enhanced collaboration among businesses and between the public and private sectors is required.

But stepped up collaboration must be underpinned by smart regulation, including, where appropriate, self-regulatory frameworks, to provide business with long-term certainty and to turn existing market failures into market opportunities. Business self-regulation also has a key role to play.

So, our vision to meet the climate challenge can be summed up in three simple terms: Innovate, Collaborate, Regulate.

The message is clear: The better engaged the private sector is, the more effective the global response to climate change will be.