Climate change

Financial Times spotlights ICC call for greater business role in climate talks

  • 12 December 2014
ICC Environment and energy

An International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) delegation to COP20 climate change talks currently underway in Lima, Peru has called for a greater and more central role for the private sector to United Nations (UN) climate negotiations leading up to a global deal in Paris in 2015.

John Danilovich quote in Financial Times
John Danilovich quote in Financial Times

Speaking at an ICC press conference on Wednesday, James Bacchus, Chair of the ICC Commission on Trade and Investment, said: “This issue is important for governments to address but it is far too important to leave to governments alone.”

Mr Bacchus took part in the briefing alongside Peter Robinson, President and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (ICC USA), Pedro Luiz Fernandes, President of Novozymes Latin America, and Bernhard Schwager, Director of Sustainability at Bosch.

Remarks made by Mr Bacchus and Mr Robinson were the focus of an article published on the Financial Times website yesterday entitled Business calls for greater say in climate talks.

During the briefing which highlighted ICC’s long-standing involvement with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr Robinson said: “With so much riding on the economy-wide transformational changes that will rely on the private sector, we believe that the Paris agreement must move to anchor the role of business in the UN climate negotiations. Simply put, if a global agreement on climate change doesn’t work for and with businesses, it just won’t work.”

Responding to a question from Financial Times Environment Correspondent Pitili Clark on the role business was seeking in the talks Mr Robinson said: “We want to find an opportunity where we are more inside the tent than on the sidelines. We want to be sure that when policymakers are creating policy and thinking about the future, they don’t operate in a vacuum.”

Mr Bacchus added: “We are concerned that we are not as fully engaged now as the world needs us to be. There is a danger that whatever we conclude in Paris will fall short of what we need. In that shortfall the business community can make a real difference.”

Mr Schwager said that while business was not directly involved in plenary sessions, side events and other meetings provided an opportunity for business to come up with ideas and collaborate with governments and other stakeholders.

In its unique role as the world business organization, ICC forges closer cooperation between governments and business and strives to ensure that governments create an enabling framework for business to continue shaping and implementing innovative climate change solutions. The ICC delegation attending talks in Lima on behalf of world business, is calling on governments to craft policies that create incentives for private investors to scale up and accelerate investments in low-emission and climate-resilient growth options.

ICC activities during the event can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #ICCCOP20.

View the press briefing

ICC Commission on Environment and Energy