Business & UN

Global business dismayed by no agreement on missing element of Paris Agreement

  • 15 December 2019

Climate negotiations concluded today in Madrid, leaving global business deeply disappointed that a deal could not be reached on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

The negotiations – COP25 – marked the longest in history. Yet despite progress on many agenda items – including gender; oceans; land; loss and damages; adaptation; and response measures – governments failed to match the ambitions of business and other stakeholders regarding the operationalisation of  “Article 6” of the Paris Agreement, a crucial missing element of the so-called “Paris Rulebook” agreed at COP24 in Katowice, Poland a year ago.

Majda Dabaghi, ICC’s Director of Inclusive and Green Growth said: “We are deeply disappointed that despite tremendous efforts, negotiators were unable to reach consensus on international market cooperation – vital to enhanced ambition and reaching the net zero emissions target of the Paris Agreement.”

Finalising the Paris Rulebook and enhancing ambition had been the focus of the COP25 climate conference. As UNFCCC Focal Point for Business and Industry, ICC was in Madrid to mobilise business engagement in the climate process, advocating for enhanced ambition and robust Article 6 mechanisms for transparency, accountability, and to avoid double counting and most importantly, that uphold environmental integrity.

Despite lack of decision on Article 6, many governments were able to commit to cooperative approaches through their own respective partnerships that adhere to the key principles of the Paris Agreement.

During the conference, 84 countries in total signed up to the Climate Ambition Alliance, signaling intention to enhance climate ambition.

In addition, non-government actors – including 786 businesses and 16 investors, and the 2,100 signatories to the Chambers Climate Coalition – all committed to reaching net zero emissions by no later than 2050.

ICC Secretary General, John W.H. Denton AO said: “Today’s result is extremely disappointing, but we are nevertheless encouraged by the commitments of many governments to raise ambition and ensure advances are made. This includes progress on market mechanisms. There is much work left to do to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and ICC will put its full support behind mobilising its network of 45 million businesses to make climate action everyone’s business in the lead up to COP26 and support the uptake of ICC’s Sustainable Finance Principles.”

ICC Chair Paul Polman called for stakeholders to “dial up the heat” to ensure government ambition aligns with that of business and others. Describing the result as frustrating on social media, Mr Polman said: “We cannot stop”.

COP26 will take place in Glasgow in November 2020, led by COP26 President Claire O’Neill. Ahead of COP26, countries will be expected to submit their nationally determined contributions and long-term strategies to ensure that we are on track to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Read the closing statement of Business and Industry (BINGO) for COP25.