Businesses not relying on climate talks for action

30th September 2015

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Less than half of business leaders see an international climate deal as the main driver for action on climate change in their sector. The poll, by PwC, found that chief executives were far more motivated to act by public awareness and national policy.

However, around three-quarters of respondents said their companies were developing products and services to respond to climate change, and more than half were changing strategic investments in response to green growth opportunities.

The findings emerged as international negotiators in Bonn were told to draw up a shorter draft agreement before the next meeting at the end of October. Discussions continued on whether countries would be required to revisit and consider upgrading national mitigation commitments at five-year intervals. There were also talks on establishing a common approach for transparent measurement and reporting of countries' emissions.

Discussions on climate finance have been slow. Countries have already committed to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 but so far only $10.2 billion has been pledged. Another sticking point is how best to tackle climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to. This issue, known as "loss and damage", includes sudden events, such as major storms or slower impacts, such as soil becoming too salty for agriculture. Observers to the talks, including WWF, reported some convergence on this issue but warned that it would be difficult to reach an agreement.

Tasneem Essop, WWF head of delegation to the UN climate negotiations, said: "We have seen a little progress in simplifying some of the options which should make negotiation and compromise on these issues easier at the next session."

There are only five more official UNFCCC negotiating days before the Paris climate summit opens on 30 November.

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