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Copenhagen Call by Business Outlines Steps Needed for Ambitious Global Climate Treaty

(Copenhagen, 26 May 2009) – Global business leaders assembled in Copenhagen today called for ambitious global action on climate change.

In a “ Copenhagen Call ” issued on the closing day of the World Business Summit on Climate Change, participating businesses announced that a new global climate treaty must set bold targets for emissions reductions by 2020 and 2050, limiting the global average rise in temperature to a maximum of two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The statement calls for immediate and substantial action leading to an abatement of around 17Gt by 2020.

Emissions reduction at this scale is expected to profoundly affect business, but the Call states that business leaders stand ready to make those changes and support ambitious political decisions that support economic recovery and safeguard the planet.

“Economic recovery and urgent action to tackle climate change are complementary – boosting the economy and jobs through investment in the new infrastructure needed to reduce emissions,” the Call states.

The Call identifies six steps seen as imperative to build a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future:
 
  1. Agreement on a science-based greenhouse gas stabilization path with 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets that will achieve it;
  2. Effective measurement, reporting and verification of emissions performance by business;
  3. Incentives for a dramatic increase in financing low emissions technologies;
  4. Deployment of existing low-emissions technologies and the development of new ones;
  5. Funds to make communities more resilient and able to adapt to the effects of climate change, and
  6. Means to finance forest protection.

Members of the Copenhagen Climate Council presented the Call to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Both will take the Call forward during the last six months of negotiations before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in December.

“The ambition of the Copenhagen Call shows that business need not be a conservative voice on climate change,” said Tim Flannery, Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council.  “Many of the businesses represented at this significant event in the lead up to COP15 want brave decisions that will tackle this most wicked of problems.”

Erik Rasmussen, Founder of the Copenhagen Climate Council, explained: “Reducing the emissions that until now have been so linked to our economic growth and betterment will be an enormous, unprecedented global challenge but will also provide significant opportunities for sustainable growth, green jobs, development and innovation.”

"I hope that the Copenhagen Call will travel wide and fast and give policy makers confidence that climate action is necessary, possible and viable," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. "It is time to seal the deal." 

Presented by the Copenhagen Climate Council, the Copenhagen Call was informed by discussion with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development; 3C; the World Economic Forum; the UN Global Compact and The Climate Group, and by deliberations among participants at the World Business Summit on Climate Change May 24-26 2009.

Download the full Copenhagen Call .

Media Contacts:

Matthias Stausberg
Spokesperson
United Nations Global Compact
+1-917-214-1337
stausberg@un.org

Sarah Pickering
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Climate Council
+45 31 64 10 45
spi@mm.dk