Finance ministers urged to deliver strong climate deal in Paris

G20 and EU finance ministers have been urged to 'step-up' their efforts to arrange a strong agreement at the COP21 UN climate conference next month, by a group of leading international business organisations.

A letter penned by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group has urged ministers to play an active role in supporting the negotiations by creating conditions that allow for a smooth and rapid transition into a low carbon and climate resilient economy.

The signatories wrote: “As ministers of finance and the economy, you play a critical role, both in delivering a robust deal at the COP21 summit in Paris and in successfully translating the deal into domestic action. We are therefore asking for your personal support.”

The letter has been signed by 11 groups including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), The Climate Group, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (Japan-CLP) and Brazilian business organisation Platforma Empresas pelo Clima (EPC). Overall, the groups work with thousands of leading business across the globe.

Smooth negotiations

The letter identifies key areas where groups believe that ministers’ involvement will help ease negotiations. 

For example, the signatories called for clear and time-bound commitments on carbon pricing and the phasing out of perverse fossil fuel subsidies.

They also called for climate finance to be delivered to developing countries and the creation of a fiscal environment that will accelerate investment from the private sector in resilient infrastructure and technology.

Philippe Joubert, the chair of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) said: “The momentum for success and ambition in Paris has grown throughout this year. But it is vital that we have a united political support for Paris and for its ultimate goal of decarbonising our economy. 

“What we need now is strong leadership from finance ministers to deliver effective national policies for the low-carbon economy to thrive, based on a strong global policy framework. With this letter we wish to ensure that finance ministers from around the world are clear that there is powerful business support for this transition and a Paris agreement.”

Chain mail

The Prince of Wales letter is the third sent over the last two months calling for a bold agreement ahead of the Paris talks.

The chief executives of 10 multinational food and beverage companies including Mars, Nestlé and Unilever penned a joint letter addressed to ‘US and global leaders’; imploring them to act swiftly and decisively on global warming.

In September Sir David Attenborough headed a list of impressive signatories stating that ‘a sensible approach to tackling climate change will not only pay for itself but provide economic benefits to the nations of the world”.

Letter to Finance Ministers

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie