Incomplete climate talks – multilateral efforts needed to unlock investments
Throughout the two week climate conference in Doha, ICC highlighted business solutions that are addressing climate change. Many companies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions every day by deploying innovative technologies, processes, products, and services.
But much more needs to be done. Longer-term predictability and clear market signals are indispensible to managing the impacts of climate change and unlocking the role of the private sector as not only innovator, financier, and investor, but also as societal partner.
“The now 17 years of negotiations are heading the way of stalled Doha trade talks, preventing businesses from spending the billions of dollars needed to transform economies and cut emissions. Time has clearly come to work together to take bolder steps to foster a true collaboration on climate action,” said Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General.
Characterized by compromise, the conference in Doha, nevertheless kept the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process moving forward toward 2015, when governments hope to finalize a global and effective framework to address climate change, to take effect in 2020. A great deal of work lies ahead to shape a universal agreement and move from vague language to concrete roadmaps and action in areas such as technology, finance, and adaptation.
Above all, stronger multilateral efforts are needed to build confidence to stimulate private investment. In particular, open trade and investment policies are required to drive technology and finance to promote sustainable development while addressing climate risks.
“There are already many efficient and environmentally-effective technologies and products on the market, whose trade could be bolstered by alleviating market access and bringing down policy barriers that give rise to uncertainty and an unfavourable business environment,” said Mr Carrier during the Doha Business Day. Organized each year by ICC and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Business Day is the premier business event at the United Nations climate change conferences.
Moving forward, ICC will continue to help mobilize the global business community to offer comprehensive solutions that drive economic growth, environmental benefits, and social development in a mutually reinforcing fashion, whether in the UNFCCC process or various climate-related initiatives at international fora such as the G20, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In Doha, ICC was a key representative of the business sector with the ICC Secretary General, global business leaders and members of the ICC’s Environment and Energy Commission, and Taxation Commission actively participating in the conference to promote business views. It hosted a range of events which discussed issues including financing and investment for low-emissions growth as well the role of fiscal instruments in environmental policy-making, thereby creating dialogue between business, government and the inter-governmental system.