Key companies endorse global climate framework

New York, USA - A group of companies and organizations have released a statement endorsing the creation of a post-Kyoto global climate change framework which includes emissions reduction targets and a price on carbon emissions.

The statement recognizes the urgency of global warming and the importance of energy to the world economy. As a result, climate change solutions must include “new and sustainable energy strategies that can meet growing global energy needs while allowing for the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at safe levels”, says the statement.

The statement was issued by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, which was developed by the Earth Institute at Columbia University to bring together more than 100 stakeholders, including senior executives from the private sector and leaders of international governmental and non-governmental organizations, to discuss areas of potential consensus regarding climate change.

Those endorsing the statement include the executives of Alcan, BASF, Allianz, Bayer, Citigroup, DuPont, General Electric, Volvo, and others, as well as academics, non-governmental organizations, and policy-makers.

The group notes that cost-effective technologies that exist today, as well as those in development stages, can improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions. Avoiding the most dangerous risks of climate change can be accomplished at a reasonable cost, the statement says, warning that “failing to act now would lead to far higher economic and environmental costs and greater risk of irreversible impacts”.

Companies themselves pledge to take action in their own operations as well, from seeking reductions of their own emissions to working to increase public and industry understanding of both the risks of climate change and potential solutions, adds the group.

The Roundtable’s statement says:

  • The world’s governments should set scientifically informed targets, including an ambitious but achievable interim, mid-century target for global CO2 concentrations, to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.

  • All countries should be party to this accord. Commitments for actions by individual countries should reflect differences in levels of economic development and GHG emission patterns and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

  • Clear, efficient mechanisms should be established to place a market price on carbon emissions that is reasonably consistent worldwide and across sectors in order to reward efficiency and emission avoidance, encourage innovation, and maintain a level playing field among possible technological options.

  • Government policy initiatives should address energy efficiency and de-carbonization in all sectors, allow businesses to choose among a range of options as they strive to minimize GHG emissions and costs, encourage the development and rapid deployment of low-emitting and zero-emitting energy and transportation technologies, and provide incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and harmful land management practices.

  • Governments, the private sector, trade unions, and other sectors of civil society should undertake efforts to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, since climate change will occur even in the context of highly effective mitigation efforts.

Read the group’s statement, The Path to Climate Sustainability: A Joint Statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change.

For More Information: Earth Institute at Columbia University

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