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Business Leaders Urge Nations to Seal the Climate Deal in Copenhagen and Build the Green Economy

Paris/Nairobi, 23 April 2009 - Sealing a comprehensive climate deal in 2009 will be crucial for the future health of business and societies across the world, a gathering of senior business leaders said today at the close of the Business for the Environment (B4E) summit in Paris.

In a closing 'Manifesto', summit participants urged governments "unlock the potential for sustainable, green innovation and job creation" by forging ahead towards a low-carbon society.

"Agreement on a new climate regime is urgent.. the global crisis requires recovery plans that provide for drastically expanded investment in clean technologies and sustainable infrastructure systems, building the Green Economy," says the document.

"Now is the time to remove uncertainties, enable green investments to flow, and build scalable public-private partnerships that can leapfrog in terms of technological innovation," it adds.

The Manifesto, coming from over 400 delegates at the summit, underlines that the short-term economic models of the previous century need replacing by a more creative, long-term vision.

Participants to the Business for the Environment included the 2009 Champions of the Earth winners including Suzlon head Tulsi Tanti, photographer and activist Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim and campaigner Kevin Conrad. Also in attendance at the Summit were Mexican Environment Minister Juan Elvira Quesada, WWF Director James Leape, and CEOs including Alcatel-Lucent boss Ben Verwaayen, Suntech CEO Shi Zhengrong, and Philippe Carli, the head of Siemens France. John Kerry, the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, was one of the panelists joining the discussion through a live video link from Washington DC.

The event was hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Global Compact, with the support of Business for Social Responsibility and the French business confederation MEDEF (Mouvement des Entreprises de France).

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Further Resources

B4E, Business for Environment Global Summit 2009

B4E Podcast by UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner

Remarks at B4E by UNEP Chief Scientist, Joseph Alcamo

COP15: UN Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen 2009

UNEP Champions of the Earth Website

UNEP Champions of the Earth Podcast by Executive-Director, Achim Steiner

UNEP Announces the 2009 Champions of the Earth

Yann Arthus-Bertrand named UNEP Goodwill Ambassador


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