Climate change

ICC joins business leaders to discuss private sector initiatives for advancing climate ambition at COP25

  • 13 December 2019

During COP25 discussion, business leaders share private sector initiatives aimed at 1.5°C target goals and promoting a just transition.

Co-organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development the Industry Action Hub exhibited major initiatives undertaken by the private sector to achieve the 1.5°C target and promote a just transition.

Majda Dabaghi, Director, ICC Inclusive and Green Growth, and Karl Vella, Manager, Climate Policy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, opened the session.

In line with the special report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the discussion focused on aligning business operations to help limit global warming to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Recognising the urgency to raise climate ambition and action now, panellists showcased initiatives aimed at mobilising the private sector to advance long-term climate policies and achieve the emission targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Chambers Climate Coalition

On behalf of ICC, Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO discussed the significance of the Chambers Climate Coalition, which represents an unprecedented grassroots mobilisation of more than 2,100 Chambers of Commerce – representing over 10 million local business leaders – in support of ambitious climate action aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

The Chambers Climate Coalition includes broad support from communities and regions around the world, including signatories from across six continents. Speaking to the Coalition’s widespread support from local business, Mr Denton said: “This is not a movement of the North, this is a movement of the world.”

For Mr Denton, the Coalition represents a common framework that can be used to amplify private sector innovation and mitigation investment opportunities. “We need to make sure there is alignment to make sure that business can take action on climate,” Mr Denton said.

ICC Secretary General John Denton spoke about the importance of creating a unifying framework for climate action.

Step up climate action together

Paul Polman, Chair of ICC, discussed the immediate need for business, government and civil society to work together to step up climate ambition. “There is no doubt that the IPPC report has not only made clear that the 1.5 is still possible but that it also requires more radical and urgent transformation.”

Despite the clear warning signs of the IPPC report, Mr Polman warned that governments are in many cases impeding private-sector climate ambition. “Business in many areas has started to move faster than governments and government policy is starting to hold us back,” he said.

Biodiversity matters

Increasingly, business leaders are also taking concrete action to reverse nature loss and protect the world’s natural ecosystem. Most notably, Business for Nature, an umbrella organisation of more than 40 business and conservation organisations – including ICC, one of the initial partners – is mobilising the private sector to pursue commitments, solutions and policies aimed at protecting biodiversity.

Paul Polaman, ICC Chairman, calls upon business leaders to align their operations with science based targets.

On advancing business ambition on biodiversity, Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature said: “We can’t reach a 1.5 net zero world without using nature as our ally. We’ve all come together to unify the business voice to give the policymakers the courage and comfort to make really ambitious agreements on nature in 2020.”

Ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China, ICC is working hand in hand with Business for Nature to mobilise business leaders to conserve natural ecosystems and restore biodiversity loss.

Read more about ICC’s partnership with Business for Nature.