Global business leaders commit to a low-carbon future
Mexico City, 5 October, 2010 - Business leaders from global corporations have committed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions across a wide range of sectors, including energy, communications, building and construction. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the UN-supported Business for the Environment (B4E) Summit, held in Mexico City from 4 to 5 October, ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Cancun next month.
Energy companies present agreed to work towards achieving a target of 100% renewable energy production by 2050. ICT companies agreed to reduce 7.6 Gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2020, while representatives of the building sector committed to reduce emissions by 40% in new buildings by 2020 and improve energy efficiency by up to 40% in existing buildings.
Business leaders called upon governments to advance international negotiations to ensure an ambitious outcome at the Cancun Climate talks (16th Conference of the Parties) which are being organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year. Those gathered in Mexico City also stressed the need for a global 'level playing field' that would enable these commitments and foster green entrepreneurship among and across industry sectors.
Companies acknowledged that entrepreneurial action to address climate change can play a critical role in stimulating a global economic recovery, creating new jobs and building more sustainable and resilient low-carbon societies.
UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "Many businesses, including those at the B4E Summit, are signaling leadership and seizing the opportunities of the climate change challenge. Why? Because many see rising risks to profits from the impacts of rising greenhouse gases but also an opportunity to become far more resource efficient and innovative enterprises. Governments at the UN climate convention meeting in Cancun and beyond have a responsibility to support these aims and actions by signaling their determination to set the kinds of national and global policy frameworks able to accelerate and sustain these transformations."
"Civil society and business can both take a role in speaking-up so that the right policy-frameworks are put in place as well as in communicating the solutions which are already available", said James Leape, Director General of WWF-International. "We should all recognize that international negotiations on climate are not moving at the pace needed. This business summit, held immediately before Cancun, should stimulate all governments to act in order to unleash business potential to transform our economies", he added.