Business Leaders make “The Copenhagen Call”, List what Business can do to prevent Climate Change

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At the World Business Summit on Climate Change, the latest of the climate change meetings going on in Copenhagen in the run-up to the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference, global business leaders issued what they have dubbed “The Copenhagen Call” – six-point statement of what business believes is required to create an effective new global climate change treaty. All in all a good – if general – statement:

1. Agreement on a science-based greenhouse gas stabilization path with 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets

We support the scientific evidence of the IPCC’s 4th. We are concerned that some recent scientific evidence suggests the problem may be worse than many of the IPCC estimates. 

An effective global climate treaty must establish an ambitious goal and set emission targets that protect us and future generations from the risks of climate destabilization. Limiting the global average temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels would entail abatement of around 17Gt versus business-as-usual by 2020. [...]

2. Effective measurement, reporting and verification of emissions

Achieving and tracking greenhouse gas emissions reduction is vital to measuring convergence towards the objectives of an effective climate treaty. As businesses we can set an example by contributing to a unified, coherent and reliable measurement, reporting and verification discipline leading to mandatory reporting. [...]

3. Incentives for a dramatic increase in financing low emissions technologies

To promote effective, efficient, equitable and ambitious action to address climate change the world will need to mobilize the scale of investment necessary to achieve the emissions reduction required. Properly established, an international carbon market framed around ambitious reduction targets can enable both cost-effective abatement and create the carbon price stability to drive the deployment of technologies that will deliver large-scale emissions reductions. [...]

4. Deployment of existing low-emissions technologies and the development of new ones

The private sector is already the source of over two-thirds of the world’s investments in clean technology innovation, and is the most effective source of know-how and technology dissemination and transfer. Many low-technologies already exist and can significantly reduce global emissions. Significant emissions reduction can be achieved through energy efficiency, much of it with positive financial returns. [...]

5. Funds to make communities more resilient and able to adapt to the effects of climate change

We recognize that adaptation is as important as mitigation in an effective global climate treaty. Adaptation planning will require a holistic and long-term planning perspective, which will require different levels of activity at the international, national and local levels. Businesses will be responsible for building much of the infrastructure needed to protect us from climate impacts. [...]

6. Innovative means to protect forests and balance the carbon cycle

Because a significant proportion of the CO2 reduction required by 2020 comes from the sequestration of carbon in forests and agriculture lands, an effective climate treaty must facilitate such sequestration. If emissions reductions targets are to be met, there is an immediate need to protect forests and enhance carbon sequestration. The private sector can play an important role in reducing deforestation, particularly in developing countries, through mechanisms structured to value conservation. [...]

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