Businesses press finance ministers for climate action

2nd November 2015


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  • Carbon Trading ,
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  • Politics & Economics

Author

Petra Stapp

A coalition of business groups has written to G20 and EU finance ministers to urge action on climate change, one month before UN negotiations in Paris begin.

The letter was organised by the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders' Group, and was signed by 11 global and regional members of the We Mean Business coalition, including CDP, the Climate Group, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ceres.

In particular, the business groups are calling for finance ministers to act in three areas:

  • actively support a clear deal that supports investment in the low carbon economy;
  • ensure that climate finance promised to developing countries is delivered and used wisely; and
  • create the right fiscal environment to enable the private sector to invest in low carbon and resilient infrastructure and technology.

The letter states: "The business community has made significant progress in understanding, reducing and reporting our impact on the climate and is increasing investment in low carbon technologies and business models."

To sustain growth in investment in clean technologies and jobs, effective national policies are required, and the best foundation for achieving these is a global framework for action, it says.

"As ministers of finance and the economy, you play a critical role, both in delivering a robust deal at the COP21 in Paris and in translating the deal into domestic action," it states.

The key issues signatories to the letter want agreed at COP21 are a long-term goal for emissions reduction, reviews and updates to national climate action plans (INDCs) every five years and clear accounting mechanisms, to ensure that country pledges are dependable and comparable.

The businesses also want to see deadlines set for delivering a global carbon price and the elimination fossil fuel subsidies. National finance policies need to be aligned to support measures in the INDCs, the letter says. This should be combined with better corporate disclosure and regular stress testing, it adds.

Philippe Joubert, chair of the group and former president of Alstom Power, said that united political support for a deal in Paris was essential: "With this letter we wish to ensure that finance ministers from around the world are clear that there is powerful business support for the transition and a Paris agreement."

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