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Video message by ICC Secretary General John Danilovich for the Climate Conference in Moscow, hosted by the Ministry of Natural resources and Environment of Russia on 17 November, 2015.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.

I am John Danilovich the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce.

I am sorry I cannot join you in Moscow today but I am grateful to all my colleagues at ICC Russia-including its Chairman Oleg Deripaska-for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today from Paris.

It’s clear from the discussions I’ve had over the past year with the leaders of a broad range of companies from across the ICC global network that business looks ahead to COP21 with optimism and determination.

We have seen an unprecedented mobilization of the business community on the climate agenda over recent months and there can be no doubt that global business supports a successful and meaningful outcome to the COP21 talks.

As business, our ultimate objective is to connect the UNFCCC process to the real economy so as to ensure inclusive climate friendly growth and shared prosperity.

This evolution is already underway faced with a real and growing problem, the natural instinct of companies is not to be passive but to take action and find solutions.

That’s why, despite prevailing uncertainty about the global direction of climate policy, the green bond market tripled to almost $40 billion in 2014, with yet further growth expected this year.

Viewed through even the narrowest of commercial lenses, it makes plain business sense to reduce emissions and to build resilience to changing weather patterns.

For example: Fortune 100 companies reporting on climate and energy targets are estimated to have made $1.1 billion in savings in 2013 alone.

That said, we recognize that the private sector must do more if we are to limit global temperature increases to 2°C.

However, if business is to scale-up action to the level required, we need governments to put in place credible policy frameworks that provide much greater long-term certainty for green investments.

The agreement forged at COP21 will be in place for more than a decade.

So it is- as Oleg Deripaska made clear in a recent interview with the Financial Times -simply vital that we get the right agreement in place next month.

Our vision for COP21 can be summed up in three simple terms…

  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Smart regulation

Businesses are already innovating to develop the

  • Technological
  • Organizational
  • And financial solutions

Which are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt to changing climate patterns. But to scale up these solutions we need enhanced collaboration.

On the one hand between business-and, more importantly, between the public and private sectors…

All of this 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.

More specifically for the COP21 agreement and beyond, we see two main priorities:

The first is to catalyze innovation and investment.

Governments should do all they can to create an environment in which all sectors are incentivized and encouraged to innovate.

This should include allowing market-based GHG instruments as an option for meeting mitigation commitments and maintaining effective incentives to innovate and disseminate cleaner technologies across all sectors and energy sources.

In this context, I would like to stress the key role that intellectual property rights play in driving innovation.

To meet the climate challenge, it’s vital that robust and balanced IP frameworks are maintained both in those international institutions that are responsible for IP protection, such as WIPO and WTO as well as at national level.

It’s important to recognize that investment and innovation to meet the climate challenge will depend not only on a COP21 agreement but as much on what happens outside any new climate treaty.

To take just one example: ongoing WTO negotiations to remove tariffs on environmental goods and services could speed the deployment of climate solutions and we encourage governments to conclude those negotiations at the earliest possible opportunity.

The second priority for the private sector is to ensure that business is anchored in the UN’s climate process going forward.
Business continues to look to COP21 as a once in a decade chance to pursue institutional innovation and in so doing to expand

  • partnership,
  • dialogue
  • and consultation

with business into a sustainable and enduring relationship.

For this reason we believe that business should be a recognized part of any long-term agreement under COP21.

Such a role would enable business to play a structured-and constructive-part in helping shape effective policies  to tackle climate change fully leveraging what

  • business expertise
  • experience
  • and innovation

can bring to elaboration of the Paris outcomes as well as to their implementation.

This will be one of the key messages that ICC-as the business focal point to the UNFCCC-will take to COP21 in just two weeks.

And I trust we can count on your full support on this vital issue.

In closing, I would like to thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you all today.

Meeting the climate challenge will require full engagement of the private sector.

Simply put: climate change is everyone’s business and we must ensure that the COP21 agreement works with the business community to speed emissions reductions

and promote climate resilience.

I look forward to working with you at COP21 and in the years ahead on this defining agenda.

Thank you.