Home » News & Speeches » ICC Secretary General sparks grassroots business mobilisation at UN Climate Action Summit

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO attended the United Nations Climate Action Summit which took place today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Representing ICC’s global network of 45 million companies in over 100 countries at the Summit, Mr Denton delivered an unequivocal message on behalf of millions of local businesses of all sizes:

“Our only future is one where we achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C. Less ambition is, simply put, not an option.”

The Summit saw a series of major commitments from the corporate world, including from Allianz, Iberdrola and Ørsted. Ahead of the Summit, Mr Denton announced that more than 2,100 chambers of commerce had signed up to the Climate Chambers Coalition, an unprecedented grassroots mobilisation of local business leaders, marking a “tipping point” in support of action to address the growing climate emergency.

Ambitious CEOs committing their companies to a 1.5°C trajectory in support of a net-zero future were recognised during the UN Global Compact’s Private Sector Forum as part of the Climate Action Summit.

Close to 90 multinational companies with a combined market capitalisation of over US$2.3 trillion committed to set climate targets across their operations and value chains aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

Several ICC members are among the companies taking action to align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

Mr Denton said: “Climate Action is everyone’s business and this response demonstrates the ability of the private sector to act with agility and urgency when it comes to global challenges,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO. “But more must be done, which is why ICC will continue to mobilise the global business and chamber of commerce communities behind the 1.5°C target and additional climate goal of net-zero emissions.”

On the sidelines of the Summit, Mr Denton held several meetings with prominent representatives of business and government to highlight the ways in which ICC is mobilising business and leveraging new technology and partnerships for people and planet. They included meetings with the President of Colombia Ivan Duque, Patricia Scotland QC who is Secretary General of the Commonwealth and Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of global biotechnology company Novozymes.

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