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May 28, 2009
Global Business Leaders Issue Call for Effective Climate Change Treaty
    by Robert Kropp

At the World Business Summit on Climate Change, statement by business leaders outlines issues that an effective climate change treaty must address.

In advance of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP15), to be held in December in Copenhagen,
700 global business executives attending the World Business Summit on Climate Change issued a statement addressing the issues that they believe are required for passage of an effective global climate treaty.

In the statement, entitled T he Copenhagen Call, the business leaders argued that a sustainable economic future requires the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An effective global climate treaty would lead to a more predictable framework for companies, according to the statement.

The statement outlines six steps that the business leaders believe must be taken.

Concerned that recent scientific evidence suggests the problem of climate change may be worse than originally reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the business leaders called for agreement on ambitious emissions targets that provide protection from the risks of climate destabilization. GHG emissions must peak and begin to reduce within the next decade, and must fall by at least half of 1990 levels by 2050.

An effective climate treaty must require "a unified, coherent and reliable measurement, reporting and verification discipline leading to mandatory reporting," according to the statement. Effective reporting would allow business performance to be properly analyzed by investors and the public.

Investment in such tools as an international carbon market would lead to cost-effective emissions abatement and a stable pricing of carbon, which would in turn help secure investor confidence and provide financing for the development of new technologies.

The statement asserts that "government and business must work together to ensure that all nations have equitable access to new clean energy technologies," and a global climate treaty should mobilize funding for research, development, and the deployment of new technologies.

A global climate treaty should mobilize funding to help communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and must facilitate the sequestration of carbon in forests and agricultural lands.

US companies in attendance at the World Business Summit on Climate Change included Duke Energy, Merrill Lynch, and PepsiCo.


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