Climate change

ICC encourages private sector investment to reduce emissions

  • 11 December 2009

ICC hosted a side event on finance and climate change in Copenhagen to discuss concrete examples of the enabling frameworks needed to catalyze private sector investment in order to achieve deep long-term emissions reductions, including the reform and development of new market mechanisms.

Brian Flannery, Vice Chair of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy, opened the discussion by saying that we face two world energy problems: significant increase in energy demand in the decades to come, and a need to improve the access to energy at affordable prices. About 2 billion people worldwide have no access to commercialized energy today. He added that the key considerations are the predictability of finance, the sources of it, how the institutions and governments will manage it, and how to make it sustainable.

Russell Mills, Global Director, Energy and Climate Change Policy, Dow Chemicals, stated that ultimately climate change is about managing resources in the most efficient manner.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a resource challenge and we want to see it become a race on a global basis, where we will all strive to use the new technologies we need,” said Mr Mills. “We must believe strongly in the market approaches and need extremely well-regulated markets to make the low-carbon future happen in an efficient way.”

Andrei Marcu, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Mercuria Energy Trading, presented the role of markets particularly focusing on the carbon market. Mr Marcu said that much funding is necessary and that public financing alone would not be sufficient; this is why a framework is needed to channel private money. He underlined the success story of the two main mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism and the emissions trading, which have fulfilled their ambitions and delivered more than expected.

“Stimulating sustainability and economic growth in developing countries requires a different way of looking at technology, finance and regional partnerships from the energy and electricity sectors,” said Wendy Poulton, Chair, ICC Energy Task Force.

Kaveh Zahedi, Climate Change Coordinator, United Nations Environment Programme, agreed that the challenges are extraordinary, plentiful and complex, that the funds needed are staggering and added that it is the entire economy and infrastructures that must shift. He emphasized the importance of environment policy, and that the readiness for investment was fundamental to enable countries to absorb the funding and make sure it was put to its best use.

ICC is presenting a wide range of business solutions through other activities in Copenhagen, including co-organizing the Copenhagen Business Day on 11 December with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Confederation of Danish Industry. The Business Day will demonstrate first-hand how global business is leading action on climate change.