The Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded in Lima on 14 December after over two weeks of negotiations, with the main outcome of the ‘The Lima Call for Climate Action’ compromise. This document lays the foundation for the development of a global agreement to address climate change a year from now in Paris.
Representing global business at recently concluded talks, ICC said that because many of the economy-wide transformational changes will rely on the private sector – as well as the wide impact of a UN climate agreement on markets, competitiveness, and investments – a new agreement must anchor the role of business to leverage business expertise and support for the UN process and joint actions.
In Lima, countries agreed to a schedule to make headway leading up to the Paris talks, and approved a framework for setting national pledges, including plans to cut emissions, for submission to the UN in the coming months. The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut carbon emissions suggesting that the road to Paris may for the governments may not be an easy one.
“There is an urgency to act and take bolder steps towards solid collaboration on climate action if we want to achieve a balanced and globally effective outcome,” said ICC Secretary General John Danilovich. “International cooperation is prerequisite to address today’s climate challenges that transcend national boundaries and we believe that a multilateral climate framework under the UNFCCC is the best course of action.”
ICC participation and events hosted in Lima served to highlight how private sector know-how can help inform the process on the way to a final outcome in 2015. As long-standing focal point for business in the UNFCCC, ICC has advocated for a substantive role for responsible and representative business organizations in the new climate agreement.
James Bacchus, Chair of the ICC Commission on Trade and Investment and a member of the High Level Advisory Panel to the President of the COP, said: “The issue of climate change is far too important to be left solely to governments. A new agreement must include an interface for business organizations to contribute their expertise, to help shape the climate deal and make it work.”
The private sector has made and will continue to make the vast majority of investments in technologies for low carbon growth. The UN Green Climate Fund, designed to finance developing country efforts to combat climate change is on track to reach its initial US$10 billion capitalization target. But going from US$10 billion to the US$100 billion or more needed to advance climate change objectives depends greatly on the mobilization of private investment and innovation.
“The international community is facing mitigation and adaptation tasks, and the issue of shifting/switching energy sources. To tackle these challenges we need to broadly deploy the full gamut of climate friendly investments and technologies,” said Kersten-Karl Barth, ICC Chair of the Commission on Environment and Energy. But these will not be deployed at the necessary scale, if at all, without innovative financing mechanisms in place, protection of intellectual property rights and the removal of trade barriers,” he added.
“Through our work within the UNFCCC and the B20/G20 process, ICC will mobilize its extensive global network to raise awareness of the measures needed – that work with markets, and open rules-based trade and investment – to ensure technological and financial resources are widely deployed,” Mr Danilovich said.