Carbon price among policy wishlist issued by businesses at COP23

Members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), including the chief executives of more than 200 international businesses, have called for governments to collaborate with the private sector to set meaningful carbon prices and improve climate resilience.

The WBCSD gathered at COP23 in Bonn on Monday (6 November) to outline its business recommendations that should be considered by climate negotiators to create a holistic partnership with governments to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The business community is calling for a meaningful carbon price, and governments have been implored to uncover ways to align pricing mechanisms that provide predictability for businesses to drive climate action. The WBCSD also called for partnerships to be created to boost resilience across global supply chains and in vulnerable communities that are exposed to the most severe climate impacts.

“Business is an essential implementation partner in reducing emissions and therefore needs to be fully involved in shaping the next round of national climate action plans,” WBCSD’s president Peter Bakker said.

Thousands of representatives from 195 countries are gathered in Bonn from November 6-17 to work on a “rule book” for implementation of the Paris Agreement. The summit is expected to lay the groundwork for the rules and guidelines which will need to be established by each country before December 2018’s COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland and business leaders want to make their voice heard.

As part of the recommendations, businesses want to create a structured policy dialogue centring on the Marrakech Partnership, which provides a platform to showcase best practice approaches to reducing emissions.

Businesses are also pushing to provide input into the Facilitative Dialogue, which outlines what increased ambitions will be issued as part of the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). A draft design of the dialogue will be created in Bonn during the two week conference.

The private sector will be the force behind emissions reductions across global supply chains,” WBCSD’s managing director Maria Mendiluce said. “As we build on the success of Paris, companies have become full partners in shaping an inclusive and prosperous low-carbon economy.”

Bridge the gap

Collaboration will likely be key to reaching the aims of the Paris Agreement. Last week, the UN warned that there is an “unacceptable” gap between national pledges and the emissions reductions required to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate targets.

Business action also needs to be accelerated, with only 30% of the world’s top 250 listed companies setting strong enough goals to curb global warming.

However, the World Bank’s subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), notes that at least one trillion dollars are being invested globally in ways to reduce the threat of climate change, which is putting the Paris targets in reach.

Matt Mace

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