ICC engagement in global climate change talks

The 18th Conference of Parties (COP18) to the UNFCCC, which drew to a close last week, was largely characterised by compromise. The process inched slowly towards the 2015 goal where governments hope to finalise a global framework to address climate change which will take effect in 2020.

However, the general feeling amongst the business community was that the process has failed to deliver longer-term predictability and clear market signals needed to manage the impacts of climate change.

More work and effort is needed to shape a universal agreement and move from vague language to concrete action, particularly in areas such as technology, finance and adaptation. This will help deliver the certainty necessary to unlock the potential of the private sector – not only in the role of innovator and financer, but also as a societal partner.

ICC continues to act as a key representative of the business sector in the UNFCCC process. We work to help mobilise the business community with a view to exploring potential solutions that drive economic growth, environmental and social development in a mutually reinforcing way.

We held a successful business day in conjunction with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on December 3rd. The event gathered representatives from the private sector, international financing institutions, international organisations, governments, NGOs, and others to address business perspectives on diversifying the energy mix by 2050 in the framework of global green growth.

At a domestic level, ICC UK holds regular pre-/post- COP meetings with negotiators from the UK Government, where members are briefed and able to raise any issues or concerns.

In recent meetings, there have been extensive discussions about the need for an overarching UN framework for accounting standards. It is clear that accounting standards are a precursor to encouraging investment in global carbon markets. We are working with ICC UK members to develop a position paper on this issue, which we will feed in to ICC’s international activities in this area. If you are interested in becoming involved in this work, please contact Emilie Boman (eboman@international-chamber.co.uk).