A business perspective on international climate change policy

A business perspective on international climate change policy (2014)

ICC is committed to a successful outcome at the 20th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP20) this year in Peru, and at next year’s milestone conference in Paris.

ICC supports an ambitious, worldwide agreement that fully engages the private-sector over the short and long-term.

Businesses around the world will continue making significant contributions to:

  • lower greenhouse gas emissions;
  • use resources more efficiently;
  • plan for, build-in and share good practices on adaptation and resilience;
  • invest and undertake research and development into climate-friendly technologies, products and services;
  • engage and educate the public on climate change;

Significant though these actions and contributions are, much more needs to be done to mitigate and adapt to global climate change while addressing the lack of access to energy and meeting the growing demand for energy.

All states as well as all private and non-governmental sectors should help to ensure, and participate in the new UNFCCC agreement to be delivered in Paris in 2015. We believe that solutions to climate change are best achieved multilaterally. Governments must craft policies that create true incentives for private investors to scale up and accelerate their investments in low emissions and climate-resilient growth options. Global investment in clean energy and energy efficiency – which is currently falling drastically short – is one critical factor to address climate change. Among the major barriers that impede further appropriate action ranks prominently regulatory uncertainty about the future treatment of carbon emissions, which in turn affects energy pricing and the adoption of climate friendly technologies, products and services.

We strongly support continued action and call on all countries to demonstrate leadership to build a global and flexible climate change agreement through the UNFCCC.

All countries will benefit from a climate agreement that improves conditions for innovation, trade and investment to facilitate worldwide adoption of environmentally sound technologies and climate-friendly solutions that contribute to sustainable development by:

  • Setting high ambition into targets.
  • Establishing a stable, predictable, simple, consistent, and transparent regulatory framework.
  • Allowing flexibility to bring together the “top down” internationally coordinated and cooperative approaches that ensures a fair distribution of efforts needed (e.g. 2015 climate agreement) with bottom-up complementary Parties’ driven approaches (e.g. expressed in the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions -INDCs).
  • Providing international assistance to those countries that need support in implementing their adaptation and/or mitigation actions (e.g. least developed countries).
  • Pursuing transparency, accountability, and facilitative compliance through the INDCs and elsewhere which will strengthen mutual trust and intensify cooperation on all levels among countries.
  • Developing an inclusive and forward looking approach which – reflects current and expected future economic realities and developments in environmental science. – recognizes that governments alone cannot deliver solutions; and that mitigation and adaption actions are required by all – governments, private sector, and society.
  • Creating opportunities for sustainable development and climatefriendly growth in the most cost-effective ways via trade and investment.
  • Avoiding unilateral measures and working as much as possible in line with multilateral agreements and with due attention to the global marketplace.

To be fully effective, this new agreement should be coherent with other international frameworks on sustainability and development, such as environmental agreements, e.g. the Montreal protocol; trade agreements, such as World Trade Organization agreements; and on-going work under the G20 or the UN General Assembly (e.g. UN Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals). Furthermore, consistency with regional, national and sub-national legislation will be critical for businesses of all sizes to act decisively.