153 Global CEOs Call for Climate Action

Geneva, Switzerland - The chief executives of 153 companies worldwide have committed to speeding up action on climate change and called on governments to agree as soon as possible on measures to secure workable and inclusive climate market mechanisms post 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

The call was made in a business leaders statement issued at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on 5-6 July in Geneva. The statement, called “Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform,” provides a global call from business leaders, many of them attending the Leaders Summit. The UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) facilitated its development.

Signatories to the statement, including 30 from the Fortune Global 500, commit their companies to “taking practical actions to increase the efficiency of energy usage and to reduce the carbon burden of products, services and processes, to set voluntary targets for doing so, and to report publicly on the achievement of those targets annually”. They also commit to dealing with the climate issue strategically and to building relevant capacity. They undertake to work collaboratively with other enterprises on a sector basis and along their global supply chains, promoting recognized standards and taking joint initiatives to reduce climate risks.

According to the statement, business leaders expect from government the “urgent creation, in close consultation with the business community and civil society, of comprehensive, long-term and effective legislative and fiscal frameworks designed to make markets work for the climate, in particular policies and mechanisms intended to create a stable price for carbon”.

Welcoming the statement, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, said: “Climate change is shaping global markets and global consumer attitudes. There will be winners and losers. Companies who seize the opportunities, who adopt environmental, social and governance policies and who evolve, innovate and respond to these challenges are likely to be the pioneers and industry leaders of the 21st century”.

“Currently, a plethora of initiatives are underway across public and private sectors. Leadership on climate change requires us to all work to combine these strands and weave together these threads in order to maximize international efforts towards a low carbon economy,” he said.

The climate statement concludes with an invitation to the UN Global Compact to promote the public disclosure of actions taken its signatories and, in cooperation with UNEP and the WBCSD, to communicate on this on a regular basis, starting in July 2008.

Also at the Leaders Summit, the UN Global Compact, UNEP and WBCSD jointly launched “Caring for Climate: Tomorrow’s Leadership Today”, which provides a collection of case studies of good practices by companies taking climate action.

Visit here to download the statement and view the list of signatories.

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