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Global business groups claim climate deal ‘possible’

Business organisations from across the world, including Europe, the United States, China, India and Brazil, have voiced their support for a global climate change agreement at this year’s UN meeting in Copenhagen.

“Business is committed to supporting a successful outcome at the COP15 in Copenhagen, which we believe is possible in spite of the economic downturn,” read a joint statement from the climate change roundtable of business representatives, adopted in Copenhagen on 17-18 February.


Signatories include business organisations from the EU, Brazil, China, Canada, Kenya, India, Denmark, South Africa, Japan and the US.

In their joint pledge, the groups called for the establishment a global framework to tackle climate change that incorporates all countries and “gives equal attention to mitigation, adaptation and deforestation”. This agenda, they added, should “develop measurable, reportable and verifiable methodologies” to monitor greenhouse gas reductions and “make them a priority”.

It also urged governments worldwide to “involve ministers of finance directly in the negotiations” due to the severity of the current credit squeeze. The businesses warned, however, about the poor state of the economy, saying that “without economic recovery, the global community’s ability to take ambitious actions to address climate issues could be compromised”.

However, they also expect that “the financial crisis will be temporary” and “understand that climate change is a long-term global challenge that requires near and long-term action”.

The call from global business groups was echoed by a joint plea from a group of over fifty non-governmental organisations urging EU leaders to support a meaningful agreement in Copenhagen. “There will be no agreement if rich countries, who have caused the climate crisis, fail to show a strong commitment to investing public money in climate protection, at home and in developing countries,” the NGOs write.

“We urge you to look beyond short-term interests and to champion a fair global solution,” they add, urging EU heads of state and government meeting on 19-20 March in Brussels to “support a ‘green new deal’ to ensure a sustainable economic recovery, instead of bailing-out polluting industries”.