ICC highlights urgent need for clarity to UNFCCC

  • 17 December 2008

As United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations intensify, ICC underscored during the last week of the UN climate change conference that business urgently needed clear rules and frameworks for the investments required to address climate change.

Speaking during the Business Day, organized by ICC and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development at the UNFCCC’s 14th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Poznan, ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban called for a strong signal that negotiations were on track and governments were committed to reaching an agreement next December at COP 15 in Copenhagen.

The Poznan Business Day, held on 9 December, provided insight and ideas from over 35 experts and was attended by over 150 participants.

Mr Sebban said business needed the right institutional, regulatory, and legal frameworks to invest in research, development, and deployment of existing and breakthrough technologies to meet the climate change challenge.

Mr Sebban also said the financial crisis posed an opportunity, not an obstacle, to financing and disseminating technology to support a low carbon economy. “Open trade and economic growth provide the best conditions in which technology can be disseminated,” he added.

During his address at the closing ministerial-level segment, Jean-Yves Caneill, from ICC’s climate change task force and a Sustainable Development Project Manager for EDF, enumerated other conditions that business needs to deploy the full gamut of advanced technologies to tackle climate change: protection of intellectual property rights and their market-based deployment, innovative funding mechanisms such as the G8 Clean Technology Fund to fast-track promising technologies, and the removal of trade barriers.

By midyear 2009, negotiators are widely expected to produce a draft text that will be used to arrive at a final framework agreement during COP 15.

ICC has been providing input to the elaboration of the Bali Action Plan, stressing the need to recognize the importance of markets in any cost-effective response, to keep all energy options open, to create frameworks and governance structures to attract resources; and to strengthen multilateral trade and investment to support the widespread diffusion of technologies.

Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, attended the Business Day and challenged participants to provide additional clarity in several areas, including: adaptation to climate change; structuring climate-related institutions after 2012; public funding that would unleash more private funding; and improving market-based mechanisms to attract more private-sector involvement.

During the ministerial-level segment in Poznan, business also called for other improvements to boost clean development: inducements for the setup of reliable methodologies to measure, report, and verify national mitigation actions; support for sustainable land use, including sustainable forestry management;  development of an international carbon market; and deeper analysis of sectoral initiatives, which are coordinated attempts by energy-intensive industries such as steel or cement to measure and reduce emissions.

ICC, the focal point for business during the UNFCCC negotiations, will continue to work with the UNFCCC, governments, and policymakers towards the successful completion of the Bali Action Plan, a two-year process launched at COP 13 in Bali last December, for reaching a final global agreement on climate change in December 2009.