Business & UN

ICC letter calls on UN environment ministers for bold recommendations

  • 17 May 2019
Business’ calls for G20 commitments to climate change to be upheld

International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO has issued a letter to Environment Ministers of all United Nations’ Member States calling for bold, forward-looking recommendations from its third and final substantive session to be brought to the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York.

The ad hoc, open-ended working group, was formed under the General Assembly Resolution ‘Towards a Global Pact for the Environment’ for deliberations on a technical and evidence-based report identifying and assessing possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments, with a view to strengthening their implementation. The final session begins on 20 May 2019 in Nairobi.

Given the scale of the environmental challenges confronting us all, we need urgent, ambitious, and practical action,” Mr Denton wrote. “In that spirit, I call on all delegations to bring determination, courage and vigour to the third substantive session in Nairobi this May, to ensure we bring bold, forward-looking recommendations back to the General Assembly in New York and demonstrate political leadership for the environment.”

In his letter, Mr Denton also notes that there remain differing views within ICC’s global membership on the appropriate legal effect and degree of normativity of any future instrument but that there is universal support for enhancing environmental governance.  He commends member states for their efforts to reach consensus on differing views on the specific nature of these challenges – and the appropriate means by which to address them – during the first and second sessions of the working group.

ICC highlighted the potential benefits of a Global Pact for the Environment at a side event held ahead of the second substantive session of the ad hoc open-ended working group (AHOEWG) towards a Global Pact for the Environment (Global Pact) which took place in Nairobi from 18-20 March this year.

Addressing the first session of the General Assembly working group in January, ICC Government Affairs Manager Raoul Renard said: “Business is committed to safeguarding the environment, to implementing our commitments, and to delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.”

In what is ICC’s centenary year, Mr Denton’s said that he is driven to consider what policy environments are necessary to help catalyse the private sector to be an agent of meaningful change and contributor to an inclusive and sustainable world for all over the next 100 years.

He concludes: “We stand ready to assist you in these deliberations in any way possible in the months and weeks ahead.”

Read the full letter to environment ministers here.

Read ICC’s statement on the Global Pact for the Environment.