We need ambitious climate agreement – business to governments

Business leaders from around the world have signed up to a statement calling on politicians attending the UN's climate summit in Poznan to agree to deliver 'deep and rapid' cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

The heads of 140 global companies have put their names to the statement and taken out adverts in major news papers around the world to ensure their communiqué – which reads like a manifesto-cum-list-of-demands – is printed in full.

The Poznan Communiqué was drawn up by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and amounts to a mandate from big business to take action.

There is also some detail on how the corporate community thinks emissions cuts might be achieved – with emphasis on tackling deforestation, a goal which the cynical will note does not impact directly on most businesses.

Signatories have come down on the side of the fence that argues that going green will help pull the economy out of recession, saying that decisive action will stimulate commercial activity and the costs associated with tackling climate change will only continue the rise the longer they are left.

The communiqué presents the business case for action by stating that a “sufficiently ambitious, international, comprehensive and legally binding United Nations agreement” will “provide business with the certainty and frameworks it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies”.

The business leaders argue that the overall targets for emission reduction must be guided by science and note that even an immediate peaking in global emissions would require a subsequent reduction of 50-85% by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Signatory Dr Joachim Faber, CEO, Allianz Global Investors Allianz SE said: “It’s time to act. We support the United Nations to establish a framework for global emissions reduction, that will also help to generate more investments in low-carbon technologies.

“In the meantime let’s ensure some quicker wins – stop tropical deforestation and save energy with measures, every company and everyone of us as a citizen and customer can start with today.”

Sam Bond

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