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23 September, 11:30 - 15:15  (time subject to change)
Delegates Dining Room
United Nations Headquarters, New York

Since 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened the UN Private Sector Forum during the opening session of the General Assembly in order to bring the voice of the private sector to inter-governmental debates on key topics.

This year, the UN Private Sector Forum will be held as the high-level luncheon of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit. The Climate Summit will serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level – all Member States, business, finance, civil society and local leaders – to:

  • Catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience
  • Mobilize political will for an ambitious global legal agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.

Convened by the UN Global Compact in close cooperation with the World Bank Group, and with the support of UN partners, the Private Sector Forum will provide a unique platform for Governments and business to demonstrate their leadership on climate change.

The theme of this year’s Forum will be carbon pricing, focusing on actions that the public and private sectors can take to achieve an equitable and fair valuation of carbon through long-term strategies, investments and policies.

Why Carbon Pricing?

Carbon pricing is a critical tool to address climate change, and momentum is building to put in place carbon pricing schemes. Nearly 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states and provinces use carbon pricing mechanisms such as emissions trading systems and carbon taxes or are preparing to implement them. The private sector has been increasingly outspoken in its support for consistent carbon pricing. Many companies already operate in countries with carbon pricing and use an internal carbon price in their planning and investments, however more leadership is needed if we are to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Objectives

Comprising two programme segments to showcase and catalyse leadership on climate change, the Private Sector Forum seeks to:

  • Provide a platform for business and investors to demonstrate the contribution that they can make towards reducing global emissions and strengthening resilience; and
  • Inspire new public policy measures, commitments to action, and public-private partnerships to steer global and local climate action

Programme & Format

The UN Private Sector Forum will be comprised of two segments:

Focused on the theme of carbon pricing, the High-level Luncheon (13:30 to 15:15) segment will provide a platform for business and Governments to lead the way towards establishing fair and appropriate carbon pricing measures in long-term strategies and public policies.

The luncheon will be co-chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and will feature remarks by selected Government and business leaders. Participants will be seated at tables of 10 with leaders from business, civil society, Government and the UN for the duration of the meeting. The event will also feature an interactive discussion and announcements of new commitments to action by private and public actors.

A Business and Civil Society Special Session will take place prior to the High-Level Luncheon, from 11:30 to 13:00. This session will feature leadership actions that businesses can take in cooperation with Governments to address climate change.

Participants

A maximum of 350 participants are expected from both the public and private sectors - including Heads of State/Government, CEOs, and leaders from civil society, foundations and the UN.

Participation in the Private Sector Forum is by invitation only. Due to limited capacity, select chief executives and leaders from civil society organizations, including labour organizations and business associations, that have a good track record of addressing climate change and work with the UN or the UN Global Compact on these issues or are engaged with the Caring for Climate initiative will have priority in attending the event. The Forum is exclusively open to chief executive, C-suite and board-level participants. Invitations will be issued in late June 2014. Registration will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, adequate representation by participant sector, size and region will be considered.

Business Leadership on Carbon Pricing

In the lead up to the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit, the UN Global Compact and selected partners of Caring for Climate are calling on companies to demonstrate leadership in pricing the cost of carbon emissions as a necessary and effective measure to tackle climate change. A set of Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing have been developed to inspire companies to reach the next level of climate performance, and to give recognition to businesses that are at the forefront of advocating for a price on carbon. The Business Leadership Criteria complement a Statement on Putting a Price on Carbon developed by the World Bank Group and other partners to call for countries and companies to demonstrate strong global support and action toward pricing carbon.

The Criteria

The Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing comprise three distinct but overlapping dimensions: integrating carbon pricing into long-term strategies and investment decisions, responsible policy advocacy, and communicating on progress. All three dimensions of the criteria are aligned with limiting the increase in global mean temperature to 2° C above pre-industrial levels.

Consistent with the 2° C global target, companies are invited to indicate alignment with the criteria:

  • Set an internal carbon price high enough to materially affect investment decisions to drive down greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Publicly advocate the importance of carbon pricing through policy mechanisms that take into account country specific economies and policy contexts; and
  • Communicate on progress over time on the two criteria above in public corporate reports

The criteria, and companies that are aligned with it, will be featured at the Climate Summit. To learn more, please read this letter from the UN Global Compact and the World Bank Group. Please indicate your company’s support by sending an email to caring4climate@un.org.

Commitments to Action

The UN Global Compact is calling for commitments to action from the private sector in advance of the UN Private Sector Forum at the Climate Summit. Commitments to action can take many forms, leveraging the unique strengths and characteristics of each actor. All commitments are promises to take action, alone or in partnership, including:

  • New projects or partnerships;
  • Existing activities that are scaled up or accelerated; or
  • Adding additional partners to existing projects

All corporate commitments to action are expected to meet the following criteria:

  1. Advance one or more UN Goals and Issues;
  2. Include time-bound target(s) that can be measured for success; and
  3. Include an agreement to publicly disclose, on an annual basis, progress made to realise the commitment, throughout its duration.

Companies are also invited to report on progress from commitments made on the occasion of the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum. By making a commitment to action and reporting tangible progress made, companies can demonstrate leadership towards promoting and supporting the UN climate change agenda.

For guidelines, criteria and to make a commitment to action, please visit http://business.un.org/.

Join Caring for Climate: Be a Leading Business in Addressing Climate Change

Join the world’s largest global coalition on climate led by the UN Global Compact, UNEP and UNFCCC. Launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, Caring for Climate provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical climate solutions and help shape public policy. Chief executive officers who support the Caring for Climate Statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions.

Since 2007 Caring for Climate has grown to over 350 companies from 50 countries. This year, in honour of the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit and his call to businesses around the world to demonstrate leadership on this issue, we encourage companies to join Caring for Climate and make a lasting commitment to climate action.

To learn more, visit www.caringforclimate.org or email caring4climate@un.org.

Organising Partners

The UN Private Sector Forum is organised by the UN Global Compact in close cooperation with the World Bank Group and with the support of the following UN Partners: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Sustainable Energy For All initiative (SE4ALL). The UN Foundation is a special contributor to this year's UN Private Sector Forum.

The Private Sector Forum is by invitation only. For any questions, please contact unpsf@unglobalcompact.org.