Climate change

Global business “deeply satisfied” with historic climate agreement

  • 17 December 2007

International business has welcomed the news that world leaders adopted a plan on Saturday for negotiating a new global warming pact by 2009.

“I speak on behalf of international business when I say we are deeply satisfied with the agreement reached in Bali,” said Guy Sebban, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

“The Bali Roadmap paves the way for more clarity in the future. Now that we have a better perspective of what lies ahead, companies can better design their research and development programmes and their investment plans,” Mr Sebban said. “But more importantly, all the players – governments, business, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations – are finally working together to confront what is perhaps the most important and urgent issue of our age. This is an historic decision and a turning point for mankind.”

Global business had been pressing governments to reach agreement in Bali.

ICC maintained a highly visible and active presence throughout the UN climate change conference with a delegation of some 60 business people and four key events that brought business, government, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations together on specific issues.

On Friday, business delivered an official statement to the plenary session that presented a strong, united front on what measures should be taken to combat global warming.

“ While we may hold a wide variety of opinions, we are united in a strong common desire and ability to be part of an immediate contribution to identifying and deploying effective solutions to climate change,” Airlangga Hartarto, Vice Chairman of the  Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN),   told the delegates. KADIN is a member of ICC, which drafted the business statement with input from business representatives.

The statement called for future action on mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology to include market-based approaches as well as flexible and voluntary ones and to engage capital markets.

“Business needs clear, predictable, and stable frameworks for long-term planning and investment. This is especially important for implementing and accelerating technology cooperation for projects related to energy access, supply and energy efficiency,” the business statement said.

Last Monday, a first-of-its-kind business day at the climate change conference sent a powerful message that business wanted a successful completion of a new global climate change framework beyond 2012.

Organized by ICC and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, it brought together approximately 350 leaders from companies, governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to review the issues at stake during the UN climate change conference and to suggest ways forward.

In addition to the Global Business Day, ICC hosted three side events during the final week of the conference: Bridging the gap in climate change technology, Sectoral approaches to climate change, and Long-term approaches to climate change.

And in an op-ed published in The Jakarta Post during the same week, Mr Sebban stressed that more frequent discussions between business and government will be essential to finding durable solutions to climate change. Mr Sebban also highlighted the need for investment-friendly policy frameworks, policies tailored to national and sectoral requirements, and for keeping all energy options on the table.

“Nations have set a very good example in Bali on the importance of working together to find solutions to climate change,” said Mr Sebban. “We have now chosen a path and are heading down it together. The next two years of negotiations will be difficult, but business is prepared to help and is committed to moving the process forward.”