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Business Leaders are Key to Solving the Climate Crisis

( Copenhagen, 12 December 2009 ) – Hosted by the Global Compact and the Copenhagen Climate Council, over 300 representatives from business, civil society and international organizations met at the historic Kronborg Castle today to discuss the business role in achieving a fair, balanced and ambitious global climate treaty. Meeting on the occasion of the critical UN Climate Change Conference (COP15), business leaders from around the world renewed urgent calls for political leaders to deliver a global climate framework that would give business certainty and stability to kick-start the transition to a low-carbon global economy, which, to a great extent, depends on private sector investment and innovation.

In a video message delivered to delegates attending the meeting, former US President Bill Clinton said: “No matter what agreement is made in Copenhagen, the business leaders brought together by the Copenhagen Climate Council and the UN Global Compact are key to whether we can actually solve this crisis. There can be no effective response to the climate problem without business innovation, investment, and low-carbon technology and processes.”

Introduced by Copenhagen Climate Council chairman Tim Flannery as “an environmental hero of the highest order” keynote speaker Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations, said: “I expect them [political leaders] to agree on much more here than extending a deadline – we are not just looking for any deal, we are looking for a good deal.”

Several business leaders attending the event weighed in on the debate over a climate agreement: Tracy R. Wolstencroft, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, said “the path to a solution” and the way to achieve such confidence and stability within business is through government incentives, including a price on carbon.

Microsoft Vice President Klaus Holse Andersen, further called for clarity on a global scale involving developed and developing countries in an equitable way.

And Duke Energy Chairman and CEO James E. Rogers said: “Any framework that comes out of COP15 that includes all countries is good enough for me.”

Media Contact

Matthias Stausberg
+1 917 367 3423
stausberg@un.org