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Businesses call for “decisive” climate action at Poznan

The UN talks on climate change have been ongoing at Poznan this week with the aim of coming up with a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto deal.

In support of a new deal 140 global companies are demanding that world leaders not to delay on climate change action because of the economic downturn and instead commit to deep and rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and include mechanisms to reduce tropical deforestation.

The so-called Poznan Communiqué, developed by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, says decisive action will stimulate global economic activity and that delaying action will increase the costs of stabilising the climate.

It also says a strong, legally-binding international agreement will “provide business with the certainty and frameworks it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies”.

Some of the recommendations in the Poznan Communiqué include:

  • a series of national or regional cap and trade systems linked together
  • non-price interventions (such as regulations and performance standards)
  • a mechanism to reduce deforestation
  • a strategy and additional funding on adaptation to assist the poorest countries which are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Agreement between developed and developing/emerging countries is vital to any climate deal at Poznan and businesses are calling for reforms to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) carbon emission offset trading scheme to enable greater transfer of funds and technology from developed to developing countries.

That was dealt a blow this week at the Poznan talks when the UN ruled that carbon capture and storage projects shouldn’t be included in the CDM, which would have allowed developed countries to claim carbon credits for building CCS plants in developing countries.

Some of the businesses to sign up to the Communiqué include Ebay, HP, Johnson and Johnson, Kodak, News Corporation, Nike, Sun Microsystems, Allianz, BT, BP, Deutsche Telekom, Ferrovial, Holcim, Lloyds of London, Philips, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Swiss Re, Tesco, Unilever, and Virgin, Insurance Australia Group, Linfox, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Ryle Technology, Shanghai Electric, Suntech, Cathay Pacific Airways and Ricoh.

One of the signatories, Kiyoshi Sakai, chief technology officer and corporate executive VP of Ricoh in Japan, said:

“We believe we must achieve a sustainable society where our environmental impact is limited to what the Earth can deal with, handing on our precious Earth to future generations. In order to do this, we must create a system enabling us to tackle climate change actively, and altogether.”

1 Comment

  • Kevin
    Posted December 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Being involved in bringing viable renewable energy technology to the forefront has taught me many things about the nature of investments. There are many technologies currently available which would yield great benefit to those most in need yet development funding has been lacking as the investments would not generate a ROI fast enough. Global funding sources, in the billions of dollars, will not fund viable projects until the technology has been proven and the technologies can’t be proven without the funding.

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