SOURCE: United Nations Global Compact
Warsaw, 21 November 2013 /3BL Media/ – Collective action and scaling up corporate climate solutions were put forward as key opportunities to advance the climate agenda during the high-level meeting of the Caring for Climate (C4C) Business Forum yesterday in Warsaw. Senior business representatives, UN and Government officials discussed proactive strategies to scale up and deepen the quality of corporate climate leadership globally during the conclusion of the inaugural event, which for the first time incorporated the business voice as part of the Conference of Parties (COP) programme.
Chaired by UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner and featured UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Polish Minister of the Environment and COP19/CMP9 President Marcin Korolec; EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard; and Liu Zhemin, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the meeting aimed to unleash the potential of the private sector and mobilize large-scale action that will deliver results on climate change.
Highlights from day one of the C4C Business Forum were presented to the Secretary-General, who commended the leadership of Caring for Climate signatories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urged greater collaboration among the three pillars of business, Governments and the UN in order to drive progress toward a global climate agreement in 2015.
“I am delighted to learn that 25 leading Caring for Climate companies decreased total emissions by 37.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2011,” he said. “I would urge you to continue to do even more than that. The important thing is that you have made remarkable contributions toward reducing climate emissions. You have the capacity to do more.”
The Secretary-General also welcomed the Business Forum as an annual part of the COP programme to enhance business action on climate, and the Polish COP Presidency called for Peru and French Ministers to build on the legacy of bringing the event to the COP. Organized by the United Nations Global Compact, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat and UN Environment Programme the Business Forum featured contributions by business and investors, reflecting the private sector’s increased importance in developing a constructive path forward.
At the Business Forum – held on 19-20 November 2013, concurrently with COP19/CMP9 – C4C signatories shared progress on the development and diffusion of low-carbon and climate-resilient solutions and discussed ways to strengthen efforts in pursuit of international cooperation on climate action. Showcasing some of businesses’ most innovative commitments and solutions to climate change, the Forum helped to translate important climate policy conversations into concrete action plans – such as speeding-up the delivery of green solutions, scaling-up climate finance, creating jobs and delivering sustainable energy systems on a massive scale.
Companies at the Business Forum represented a variety of industries and sectors, such as financial and consulting services, beverages, industrials, utilities and insurance, among others – with operations in major and emerging economies including China, India, Brasil, Turkey and South Africa. Business Forum highlights included innovations to scale up energy efficiency and renewables, new mechanisms to drive private finance, and the launch of new tools and resources for companies including the Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy, new projects seeking public and private partners on the Climate and Energy Action Hub, and the Caring for Climate (C4C) Progress Report 2013.
Led by the UN Global Compact in partnership with UNEP and UNFCCC, Caring for Climate is the world’s largest voluntary business and climate initiative with 350 companies that have committed to advance climate action. It helps to forge stronger alliances between companies and Governments, speed up the delivery of green solutions, scale up climate finance, create jobs and deliver sustainable energy systems on a massive scale.
To learn more about the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum, please visit www.c4cbusinessforum.org.
About the UN Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 8,000 corporate participants in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. www.unglobalcompact.org
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. www.unfccc.int
About United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society. www.unep.org
Day One (19 November) of the Inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum
The United Nations Global Compact, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat and UN Environment Programme launched the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum on 19 November 2013 where, for the first time, the private sector joined with the public sector in the co-creation of climate change solutions as part of the Conference of Parties. Chief executives showcased to diplomats, policymakers and world leaders the contributions that business and investors are making towards climate action. Held in cooperation with the Polish COP19/CMP9 Presidency, the Business Forum helped to bring greater scale to business innovation on climate change, encourage Governments to raise ambition on climate policies and foster collaboration among business, investors, Government, civil society and the UN.
The Business Forum showcased innovative commitments and solutions for climate change from businesses, including plans to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, and a new global framework to mitigate the footprint of large-scale events. Actions taken in markets across the globe were presented at the Forum, including in China, where Caring for Climate has facilitated commitments by companies across seven action areas for combatting climate change and reducing pollution and emissions.
Senior leaders from the UN, business, Global Compact Local Networks and civil society shared their visions, plans and recommendations for climate action on the road to a global climate agreement in 2015 and beyond:
Martin Korolec, Poland’s Minister of Environment and COP19 President, recognized the Business Forum as the official entry point for the private and public sectors to engage in a first-of-its kind meeting during the official Conference of Parties programme.
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, discussed the need for businesses to collaborate with Governments, particularly at the national level. While the pillars of the private sector and policymakers are in place, the bridge connecting the two still needs to be built.
Andrew Steer, WRI, urged business to align its government affairs activities with corporate sustainability initiatives, which was further supported by the World Bank. Steve Howard, Ikea expressed the desire for Governments to lead the policy agenda in order to unlock business innovation. WBCSD President Peter Bakker urged business to scale up efforts on climate change and collectively drive action. Others called for setting a price on carbon as a critical instrument to achieving emissions reductions.
Leveraging the themes of innovation, ambition and collaboration, the Business Forum featured eleven focused sessions co-organized with partners including The Climate Group, CDP, UNEP’s Finance Initiative and WRI. Sessions covered themes related to the UNFCCC agenda such as mitigation, adaptation, capacity-building and technology-transfer, and financing – and cross-cutting issues such as transparency and responsible policy engagement.
Among other topics, sessions highlighted: the importance of a coherent, predictable regulatory framework for companies; building momentum on energy efficiency and renewables; the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC); the need to unlock private finance to achieve transformational impacts; the global insurance industry’s statement to build climate and disaster-resilient communities and economies; and the added value to achieve climate goals through collective action, including public-private partnerships.
New tools and resources for companies launched at the Business Forum include the Caring for Climate (C4C) Progress Report 2013 which examines trends in participation in C4C, emissions performance of companies and progress made against the five commitments, and a Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy. The Climate and Energy Action Hub, an interactive platform for companies to collectively provide technologies, resources, services and business models to scale up climate and energy efforts, featured nearly 20 projects seeking partners from the private and public spheres.
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