Climate change

ICC team delivers at UN climate talks

  • 2 December 2010
ICC Sustainable development

ICC leaders and members stepped into the spotlight during a variety of events at the UN climate change conference this week, demonstrating ICC’s influential role as the business and industry focal point at the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

On 29 November, ICC member Kimball Chen, First Vice President of the World LP Gas Association, delivered a statement during the plenary session of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWGLCA).

Speaking on behalf of the business and industry delegation, Mr Chen said: “We urge governments to develop post-2012 actions that will provide business with the conditions it needs to meet urgent climate and energy challenges while maintaining robust economic growth.”

He stressed the need to stimulate private sector investment in efficient and low-emitting technologies, set the conditions to speed up the deployment of existing and advanced technologies and provide a level playing field to spur competitive innovation.

Speaking out on the official business role

On 30 November, Norine Kennedy,Vice President, Energy and Environmental Affairs of ICC’s US affiliate, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), stressed the need to enhance business engagement in the UNFCCC process during an intervention at the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) group meeting.

Educating business on the UNFCCC process

To help de-mystify the complex workings of the UN conference, ICC held its popular workshop, “COP101: Introduction to the UNFCCC process”, for participants from business and non-governmental organizations at the climate change conference. Now a mainstay of the annual UN climate change conference, COP101 provides participants with a better understanding of the working mechanisms of the UNFCCC, its history, language, timing, rules, realities, key topics, and opportunities for participation.

Brian Flannery, Vice Chair of  the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy; Nick Campbell, Chair of the ICC Climate Change Task Force, and Ms Kennedy, led the workshop. They also explained ICC’s role in coordinating global business participation, including the organization of daily business briefings, meetings with government officials and spoken interventions at meetings of the various UNFCCC working groups.

Media conference on global business expectations

On 30 November ICC also hosted a media conference to communicate the views of global business to some of the 2,000 journalists attending the conference.

Speaking at the media event, Mr Campbell stressed that business wants to see progress in the UNFCCC talks to encourage further investment by companies in a low-carbon economy. He highlighted the importance of deploying existing technologies in all regions of the world, as well as developing new technologies. He also stated that market mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism have an important role to play in addressing climate change.

Carlos Busquets, Deputy Director of ICC Policy and Business Practices, underlined the role of ICC as an enabler on capacity building for companies of all sizes and the practical tools that ICC provides, such as a model contract on technology transfer.

Co-chairing with COP President and Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Campbell co-chaired the briefing with observer organizations alongside the COP President and Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa. During the briefing, Ms Espinosa stressed that everybody needs to work together to achieve progress in the UNFCCC process. On the implementation side, local governments and cities play a key role. She also highlighted the importance of involving stakeholders in the UNFCCC process and her efforts to organize further briefings for observer organizations.

The UN climate change conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. It encompasses the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), as well as the 33rd session of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the 15th session of the AWG-KP and 13th session of the AWG-LCA.