Climate policy must work in concert with other international goals, business tells UN climate negotiators
Business representatives attending the UN climate change conference told delegates today that they recognized the risks posed by climate change and the need to move toward less carbon-intensive societies. But they challenged policy makers to develop more coherent, long-term frameworks to enable the private sector to contribute meaningfully to such an evolution, saying climate policy must work in concert with other internationally agreed goals such as poverty reduction.
“The challenge for us all is to evolve to lower carbon economies while addressing climate change, access to energy, security of energy supply and development,” Daniel Gagnier, senior vice president with Alcan Inc., told delegates at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP-11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. “We urge all parties to continue their efforts, and business will do its part.”
Mr Gagnier spoke on behalf of a diverse array of companies and associations attending the talks under the banner of the Business and Industry Non-Governmental Organization (BINGO) group. Business representatives have been present throughout COP-11, engaging government delegates and other participants on climate-related issues and the need for long-term solutions.
In his statement to the COP-11 plenary, Mr Gagnier spelled out what business thought should be included in a longer-term climate policy approach. He said such an approach should:
Take into account the experiences, impacts and effectiveness of implementation of climate policies in different countries and regions;
Engage broad international participation to address these risks effectively;
Continue to pursue both voluntary and market-based approaches and engage capital markets;
Encourage utilization of the full range of energy options;
Address adaptation needs, particularly in developing countries;
Stimulate the broader use of existing efficient technologies, and support research, development and global deployment of new technologies in all sectors.
Mr Gagnier applauded movement at COP-11 toward building the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to better stimulate sustainable development projects in developed and developing countries. Many in industry and elsewhere have complained that the CDM has become bogged down in red tape.
“We are encouraged by efforts underway to complement the UNFCCC and further engage business’s positive contribution to technology solutions,” Mr Gagnier added. “G8 members with China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa have agreed to work together to counter climate change. The Asia Pacific Partnership promises to support economic development and accelerate deployment of cleaner, more efficient technologies to reduce pollution, promote energy security and address climate change concerns.”
With more than 8 000 member companies from every sector in over 130 countries, ICC is the world business organization, the largest, most representative private-sector association in the world. More information is available at cms.iccwbo.org .