Home / News & Speeches / ICC calls on governments to demonstrate leadership on ambitious global climate deal

As world leaders gather today for the start of the landmark Paris Climate Conference (COP21), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has called on governments to commit to an ambitious global climate deal to keep global warming below 2°C.

The United Nation’s (UN) new 2030 development agenda places a significant emphasis on the role of the private sector in delivering a brighter, safer and more prosperous future for all. It is now widely acknowledged that meeting the climate challenge will require widespread business engagement and action-both to reduce emissions and build resilience to changing weather patterns.

In this context, ICC has called on governments to deliver a new global climate deal that works with business to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions.

Speaking on the eve of the COP21 talks, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: “The scale of the climate challenge is too great for governments to tackle alone. Climate change is everyone’s business. COP21 must deliver an agreement that works with the private sector to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions”.

Climate change is everyone’s business. COP21 must deliver an agreement that works with the private sector to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions.

The past year has seen an unprecedented mobilization of the private sector in support of the global climate agenda and the COP21 talks. Many leading businesses have already made voluntary commitments to tackle climate change-including through the French and Peruvian government’s Lima-Paris Action Agenda.

Earlier this year, ICC launched a new edition of its Business Charter for Sustainable Development making the case for sustainability as a driver of business productivity and competiveness.

Kersten-Karl Barth, Chair of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy and Executive Vice President of Bilfinger’s Power Division said: “There is a strong business case for reducing the impacts of climate change and it is private sector stakeholders that drive this process in the strong belief that a transition to a low-carbon economy spurs economic growth and creates new job opportunities.”

There is a strong hope that COP21 could become a turning point in the global effort against climate change. A transformation of global financial and energy systems is needed to make a low-carbon and climate-resilient global economy the new “business as usual”-and to support the implementation of the national pledges already proposed by more than 150 countries.

Mr Barth added: “According to the International Energy Agency, full implementation of the 150 national pledges [made before COP21] would require cumulative investment of US$13.5 trillion in low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency until 2030”.

There is a strong business case for reducing the impacts of climate change and it is private sector stakeholders that drive this process in the strong belief that a transition to a low-carbon economy spurs economic growth and creates new job opportunities.

ICC has also called on governments to provide a recognized role for business within a COP21 agreement-to better harness the expertise and expertise of the private sector in the development of global and national climate policy-making.

Mr Danilovich said: “It is vital that COP21 marks the start of a new era of collaboration between policymakers and business to meet the climate challenge. That’s why we are calling for a recognized consultative role for the private sector under a future climate accord. Better utilizing business know-how would be a significant step forward in the way we go about addressing the shared challenge of climate change.”

ICC is a long-standing partner of the UN’s climate process and is designated as the lead business organization-or focal point-for the COP21 talks.

ICC will host and participate in a range of events over the next two weeks-including the official business and industry day at COP21 on Friday, 4 December. A full calendar of events is available on our dedicated COP21 microsite.

For more information on ICC’s recommendations on the key elements of a COP21 agreement, please click here.