John Kerry turns to ICC to help wage war on climate inaction

  • 26 August 2019

John Kerry, the 68th United States Secretary of State, convened a meeting at ICC Global Headquarters in Paris today to discuss a global effort to “wage war” on the climate crisis — amid what he described as a global governance failure.

Hosted by ICC Chair Paul Polman — who recently launched his new foundation IMAGINE to combat climate change and inequality — the meeting brought together CEOs, academics and representatives from prominent international organisations including WWF and the European Climate Foundation.

The meeting coincided with the one-month countdown launch to the Climate Action Summit which will be held at the United Nations headquarters on 23 September.

“We’re delighted to work with Secretary Kerry’s World War Zero initiative as part of our global campaign to make climate action everyone’s business. The time for concerted action is now,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.

“ICC is unequivocal on the need for greater climate action and ambition. We expect organisations that affiliate with us to align with our Centenary Declaration which mobilises business behind imperative to limit global the temperature rise to 1.5°C  and the additional climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” Mr Denton added.

ICC’s Chambers Climate Coalition — launched this June — has generated an unprecedented mobilisation of local business leaders in support of ambitious climate action. Over 450 chambers of commerce signed on to the Coalition within the first week of its launch — with momentum continuing to grow in the lead up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in one month.

Hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Climate Action Summit will take place at the start of the 74th United Nations General Assembly Week. The Summit is a platform for global leaders to raise climate ambition, prompt transformative change and generate political momentum by showcasing concrete action being undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

With a direct voice in the UN system as the only private sector organisation with a seat in the General Assembly, ICC will lead a major business delegation to UNGA — and will be hosting a range of high-profile events on issues ranging from climate to financial inclusion.