For first time, chief executives will join top Government officials to share solutions, commitments and plans towards climate action at COP, on the road to a 2015 global climate agreement
(Warsaw, 19 November 2013) – The United Nations Global Compact, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat and UN Environment Programme today launched the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum where, for the first time, the private sector will join with the public sector in the co-creation of climate change solutions as an official part of the Conference of Parties. CEOs will showcase to diplomats, policymakers and world leaders the contributions that business and investors are making towards climate action.
Held concurrently with COP19/CMP9, the Business Forum will help to bring greater scale to business innovation on climate change, encourage Governments to raise ambition on climate policies and foster collaboration among business, investors, Government, civil society and the UN. Through direct engagement with COP19 talks, companies will share solutions and commitments and set concrete action plans and partnerships in pursuit of effective and scalable solutions on climate change.
“COP 19 is a pivotal moment to both step up and showcase climate action,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC. “Businesses must be heard, leveraged and invited to develop scalable climate change solutions to drive climate action. This can create the political space for more ambition in the UN climate process, which as part of a virtuous cycle can in turn catalyze more business action.”
The Business Forum will showcase some of the most innovative commitments and solutions for climate change from businesses, including plans by Ikea to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, and a new global framework by Dow to mitigate the footprint of large-scale events and help to produce the first carbon neutral Olympic Games. World leaders will learn about actions taken in markets across the globe – such as China, where Caring for Climate has facilitated commitments by companies across seven action areas for combatting climate change and reducing pollution and emissions.
“Environmental change is accelerating and generating new and emerging challenges but also opportunities for business,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP and UN Under-Secretary-General. “Companies that face up to these realities are likely to be the ones that survive and indeed thrive in a rapidly evolving world where factors such as climate change and dwindling availability of natural resources will shape future patterns of profit and loss while driving new and smarter markets.”
“Demonstrations of real-life climate-change solutions can help to build precedents and public support that are needed to move policymakers to action. The Caring for Climate Business Forum gives companies the critical opportunity do so.” said Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Executive Director. “By facilitating private-sector investment, setting a price on carbon and bringing to scale climate change solutions that work, the private sector can prove that it plays a lead role in influencing the global climate change agenda.”
Leveraging the themes of innovation, ambition and collaboration, the Business Forum will be opened by high-level speakers including Christiana Figueres, COP 19 President and Poland’s Minister of Environment Marcin Korolec, and President and CEO of World Resources Institute Andrew Steer. A dozed focused sessions on themes related to the 2 UNFCCC agenda and co-organized with The Climate Group, CDP, UNEP’s Finance Initiative and WRI will cover mitigation (i.e., bridging the emissions gap by 2020) adaptation capacity-building and technology-transfer and innovative financing – and cross-cutting issues such as transparency and responsible policy engagement.
New tools and resources for companies launched at the Business Forum include the Caring for Climate (C4C) Progress Report 2013 which examines trends in participation in C4C, emissions performance of companies and progress made against the five commitments, and a guide to help businesses engage responsibly in climate policy. The Climate and Energy Action Hub, an interactive platform for companies to collectively provide technologies, resources, services and business models to scale up climate and energy efforts, will present nearly 20 projects seeking partners from the private and public spheres.
On 20 November, chief executives and senior representatives of Caring for Climate signatories will engage in a high-level meeting with Government representatives to distil the outcomes from the first day, with participation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania Achim Steiner and Christiana Figueres. Companies will put forward key recommendations for Government actions to help scale up and deepen the quality of corporate climate leadership globally. The Business Forum will conclude with a report-back segment and a formal announcement of new commitments to action.
Caring for Climate – led by the UN Global Compact in partnership with UNEP and UNFCCC – is the world’s largest voluntary business and climate initiative. It helps to forge stronger alliances between companies and Governments, speed up the delivery of green solutions, scale up climate finance, create jobs and deliver sustainable energy systems on a massive scale. More than 350 companies have signed on to advance its mission.
To learn more about the Caring for Climate Business Forum, held in Warsaw at the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria Hotel (19 November) and the National Stadium (20 November), please visit www.c4cbusinessforum.org.
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About the UN Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 8,000 corporate participants in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
About United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.
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