At UNFCCC climate change talks, taking place in Bangkok 28 September – 9 October, as government negotiators discuss key provisions, local and international business experts are providing a range of solutions and opportunities to emerging markets such as Thailand to engage in low-carbon development pathways.
During the talks in Bangkok, which comes on the heels of the UN Climate Change Summit in New York last week, ICC Thailand hosted a dinner and panel discussion titled “From Kyoto to Copenhagen: How global business can find solutions to the climate change challenge and progress towards a low-carbon economy.”
Kalin Sarasin, Chairman, ICC Thailand welcomed participants to the dinner and stressed that there is a need for businesses worldwide to collectively engage to fight climate change. Business in Thailand is doing its part in developing cleaner modes of production and more efficient energy practices and is looking for a clear and predictable framework from Copenhagen to further stimulate investment and deploy technology on the necessary scale.
Carlos Busquets, Policy Manager, ICC Commission on Environment and Energy provided a stock take of the UNFCCC negotiations up to this point on the road to Copenhagen.
Nick Campbell, Chair, ICC Climate Change Task Force opened the panel discussion. “Solving the climate challenge requires collective actions – there are many opportunities for businesses in developing countries to lead the way towards cleaner economic development and growth,” said Mr Campbell. Furthermore he asked participants to consider what business wants/needs from the UNFCCC process and what are the opportunities.
Sirtithan Pairoj-Boriboon, Executive Director, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, provided an overview of a Clean Development Mechanism project in Thailand stressing that transaction costs are still high and should be streamlined in a post 2012 framework.
Andrei Marcu, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Mercuria Energy Trading and ICC commission member highlighted that we must see a transition to a low-carbon community as an opportunity. “It is clear that the scientific consensus is telling us to act. We must reduce carbon emissions by setting a price on carbon,” said Mr Marcu. “Carbon markets will be instrumental in this regard and a Copenhagen agreement needs to further enable them.”
Sitanon Jesdapipat, Associate, SEA – START Regional Center and a former member of ICC Thailand’s national committee on climate change opened by stating that we are facing a new and dangerous risk. “There is a need for a paradigm shift and business must be involved in developing the architecture of a low-carbon economy,” said Mr Jesdapipat.
In addition to the Bangkok dinner discussion, ICC has coordinated two global business statements at the UNFCCC Bangkok climate change talks. The statements call for specific signals to mobilize financial and technological resources in developed and to developing countries, and the provision of predictability, flexibility and environmental integrity for markets via shared medium- and long-term, realistic and ambitious targets.
Regarding market mechanisms, the business statement calls for government negotiators to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the business community and provide a clear market signal that will change behaviour and influence economic low carbon choices.
ICC will continue its strong engagement on the road to Copenhagen and at the conference itself both by leading business participation at the UNFCCC negotiations and through its extensive network of national committees in over 92 countries. On 8 October, the ICC Executive Board will host a luncheon at the United Nations. The luncheon will be attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss some of the key issues and on 23 October ICC will host a Business Preparatory Conference for COP 15 in Paris.