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Business sets sights on deeper engagement in climate talks

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Global business has a strong presence at the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC), in Cancun, Mexico.

The conference, which began on Monday, is seeking enhanced channels for engagement, to ensure that the process benefits from business dynamism and expertise.

“Talks in Cancun offer an opportunity to take solid steps towards advancing global action,” said the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General Jean Guy Carrier.

“Governments clearly cannot address these issues alone and the role of business is more crucial than ever,” he added.

A statement issued by ICC copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, said, in its role as the official business and industry focal point in the UNFCCC process, ICC would continue to work for closer cooperation between governments and business and strives to ensure that governments create an enabling framework for business to continue developing and implementing practical climate change solutions.

In the lead up to the Cancun gathering, ICC along with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), helped facilitate business involvement in a series of discussions on topics critical to the negotiations.

Initiated and sponsored by the Mexican Government, the “Mexican Dialogues” aimed to provide informal private sector input into the official process and to increase understanding between business and governments on public-private sector synergies in finance, markets and technology.

In Cancun, ICC would once again co-host the annual Business Day on December 6, with the WBCSD, which would focus on “building bridges” to deliver effective climate solutions.

The statement said despite uncertainty, after the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen last year, global business continued to support the development of a robust post-2012 framework agreement.

“Cancun can help drive the process forward by setting the conditions to stimulate private sector investment and spur innovation in efficient and low-emitting technologies,” said Mr Carrier.

In 2009, several governments committed to mobilise 100 billion dollars a year for climate finance by 2020, but such large flows would require sound governance and increased trust.

It stressed that business invests when there is a clear and predictable policy framework and that the ICC is urging negotiators to establish a set of clearly outlined financing goals and objective, transparent governance procedures to help businesses understand the public policy agenda on climate finance.

“Setting conditions and mobilising finance would also be the focus of an ICC roundtable on Wednesday, December 1, co-hosted in partnership with Responding to Climate Change,” it added.

According to the ICC, the private sector had been and would continue to be responsible for the vast majority of investments and the development and diffusion of existing and new technologies, essential to meeting the challenge of global climate change.

ICC is pressing negotiators to ensure that any agreement reached is workable, in terms of technology transfer, and respects intellectual property rights.

It would explore the issues involved in technology development and deployment in a panel event in Cancun on December 3.

The ICC called on governments to assure the continuity of current UNFCCC market mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism, and hoped that negotiators would send a strong signal to indicate the continuation after 2012 of market mechanisms that had a role to play in addressing climate change.

It is the largest, most representative business organisation in the world. Its thousands of member companies in over 120 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise.

A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business priorities.

More than 2,000 experts drawn from ICC’s member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues.

The United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in touch with the views of international business through the ICC.

Source: GNA

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