The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, currently representing 12 big-name firms, has been set up to prive a collective voice for those companies that want their environmental concerns acted upon.

The group has drawn on drawn on the experience of similar groups in countries such as the UK, Japan and Germany where corporate support for ambitious action is enabling Government to strengthen climate policy.

It has worked with Friends of the Earth Ireland and Business in the Community.

After six-months of collaboration the group has published a communiqué which calls on the government to implement science-based targets and a tough climate change law.

It urges the government to acknowledge the seriousness of the challenge and the enormity of the opportunity; make scientific evidence the primary driver of climate policy; develop a long term policy framework to provide certainty to allow business to plan ahead; position Ireland as a world leader in smart green enterprise; prioritise education and research to build a low-carbon economy.

Speaking on behalf of the Corporate Leaders Group, Charles Butterworth, CEO Vodafone Ireland and founding member of the group said: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our future and our planet.

“This is why the Corporate Leaders Group is so important and we at Vodafone are very proud to be involved in bringing this group together from the initial planning stages.

“Corporate Ireland has a responsibility in tackling climate change and must take a leadership role in policy development.

“The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is ready to work with the Government and other stakeholders to position Ireland as a world leading low carbon economy.”

Tina Roche, Business in the Community said, “These are difficult times and yet climate change hasn’t gone away.

“On this most challenging of issues, leadership is needed to not only deal with the scale of the challenge, but also to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

“Corporate Ireland has stepped up and shown real leadership and through the newly formed Irish Corporate Leaders Group on climate change, has made a very bold statement on the issue.

“The message is clear, climate change is a business issue and business is ready to tackle it.”

The 12 corporate members of the group are Arup Consulting Engineers; Bewley’s; Bord na Móna; BT; Diageo; Intel; KPMG; NTR; PwC; Siemens; Zurich and Vodafone.

Sam Bond

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