Business at OECD Releases Statement Ahead of OECD Ministerial Council

The OECD Ministerial Council is taking place June 7-8 under the theme, Securing a Resilient Future: Shared Values and Global Partnerships. In light of the Ministerial, Business at OECD (BIAC) has released a statement to the OECD with insights drawn from the forthcoming 2023 Business at OECD Economic Policy Survey. Some of the themes addressed in BIAC’s insights include business concerns about the war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated inflation rate developments, labor shortages and energy prices. BIAC also raises concerns about supply chains disruptions, the need for structural reforms around infrastructure, digitalization, regulatory burdens and green transition.

The Ministerial is taking place amid persistent tension in world affairs, including Russia’s illegal war in the Ukraine, which has resulted in insurmountable human suffering in the Ukraine, as well as humanitarian and economic crises globally. Additionally, economies around the globe continue to face challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges around climate change.

BIAC’s statement emphasizes that this “unsettled world order requires an ever-greater capacity and commitment to multilateral cooperation and collective progress on these common fronts. The engine of societal progress, the world economy, has been paying a high price for an increasingly unstable rules-based international system, and the past year has been challenging for many businesses. The OECD private sector remains committed to defend our common values and rules-based order and continues to support effective government action towards these goals.”

According to BIAC, in the current context, the success of our economies relies on successful diplomacy, meaningful international cooperation and effective multilateralism in support of pragmatic policies.

For more information, please see the links below:

BIAC Statement to the OECD on Securing a Resilient Future: Shared Values and Global Partnerships

2023 Business at OECD Economic Policy Survey

BIAC Year Highlights: How We Delivered Value to Our Members (May 2022-May 2023)

Clark Moderates WITA Panel on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms

Top row, L-R: Alice Slayton Clark, Ken Ash, Mark Linscott
Second Row, L-R: Catrina Rorke, Ken Levinson, Ludivine Tamiotti

USCIB Vice President for International Investment and Trade Alice Slayton Clark moderated a Washington International Trade Association (WITA) webinar May 5 on Finding Synergies on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM). The goal was to review the various international workstreams on carbon mitigation, discuss their synergies and explore how they can achieve climate solutions without disrupting trade.

The panel included experts with extensive knowledge in the field, including Ludivine Tamiotti, secretary to the Committee on Trade and Environment at the WTO, Mark Linscott, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, senior advisor at the Asia Group and former assistant USTR for WTO and Multilateral Affairs, Ken Ash, visiting fellow, Institute for International Trade, Adelaide and former Director of Trade and Agriculture at the OECD, and Catrina Rorke, executive director, Center for Climate and Trade and senior vice president for Policy and Research, Climate Leadership Council.

“With so many international organizations like the OECD, WTO and United Nations, and various government or government entities, such as the G7 and EU, exploring ways to reduce the global carbon footprint, we thought it would be helpful to industry and other stakeholders for this WITA panel to sort it all out,” said Clark in her opening remarks. “A priority for industry is cohesiveness of these efforts.  We are looking for consistency in carbon measurement methodologies and interoperability of carbon mitigation approaches in order to avoid duplicative efforts and potential trade disruptions.”

A collaboration between USCIB, WITA and the Silverado Policy Accelerator sponsors, the webinar drew an audience of nearly 200 participants from 15 countries including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Turkey, China, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland and the U.S.

Click here to watch the webinar.

USCIB Team Hosts MTN Roundtable on Solidarity in Doha During LDC5 

USCIB was on the ground in Doha for the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) and to participate in the LDC5 Private Sector Forum (PSF).  USCIB’s Moving the Needle (MTN) Initiative organized a March 8 LDC5 side event in the form of a roundtable on the private sector’s role for solidarity solutions, in partnership with the International Organization of Employers (IOE). 

LDC5, held from March 5-9, focused on accelerating the graduation of LDCs out of the LDC category of the world’s poorest countries. The forty-six LDC countries account for 13% of the world population but only 1.3% of global GDP and less than 1% of global trade and foreign direct investment (FDI).   

The LDC5 Private Sector Forum, co-organized by the United Nations with Microsoft and a business advisory group, emphasized actions and partnerships for LDCs to support the delivery of the new Doha Program of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Forum highlighted important sectors for LDCs, such as agriculture, energy, connectivity and finance and the need to create enabling environments for LDCs to benefit from trade, investment and capacity building. 

USCIB Board Member Chris Sharrock, Microsoft vice president for UN Affairs and International Organizations, opened the MTN Roundtable, stating that “Business plays a key role in delivering inclusive growth, creating opportunities and sustainable development around the world, especially for the 880 million people living across the LDCs.”  He went on to emphasize the necessity of partnerships that are effective, tailored to local needs and goals and that mobilize private sector knowledge and tools.   

The MTN Roundtable featured speakers from USAID, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UNIDO, as well as leading IOE employers federation representatives from the DRC, Mali and Zambia.  

USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad and USCIB MTN Initiative consultant Lea Felluss were in Doha to advance U.S. business views and contributions to the sustainable and resilient graduation of LDCs as essential to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

According to Kennedy, “Simply put, solidarity means we cannot deliver the SDGs while leaving the LDCs behind.” 

USCIB Brings Business Recommendations to the Annual UN Partnership Forum 

Norine Kennedy speaks at the UN Partnership Forum

The United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) hosted the annual Partnership Forum at UN headquarters in New York on January 31, bringing together stakeholders across government, the private sector and civil society. The theme for this year’s Forum, which is also the theme of the upcoming UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), was: accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels. The Partnership Forum is the first of a series of UN meetings related to SDGs, which will culminate in the UN SDG Summit in September during the High-Level Opening. 

USCIB, as part of the Business and Industry (B&I) Major Group at the UN in NY, played a critical role in this year’s Partnership Forum. USCIB SVP for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy delivered a private sector intervention as Co-Chair of the B&I Major Group. Additionally, USCIB Board member Chris Sharrock, Microsoft’s VP for United Nations and International Organizations spoke on a panel during a “Spotlight Session” hosted by USCIB and the International Organization of Employers (IOE). 

Throughout the Forum, there was a consensus among governments that the private sector was a necessary participant in partnerships to accelerate progress on the SDGs and reach full implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. 

During her intervention, Kennedy emphasized three priority areas outlined by the President of the UN General Assembly (PGA)—sustainability, science and solidarity. Linking these three priority areas to greater opportunities for private-public partnerships, Kennedy also cited USCIB’s Moving the Needle initiative, which will gather private sector tools and approaches across the three priority areas set by the PGA and to advance proposals set out in “Our Common Agenda,” an agenda-setting report by UN Secretary General Guterres.  

The potential of the private sector to work with governments and the international community for sustainability, science and solidarity solutions is not yet fully tapped, and with how far we have fallen behind on the SDGs, we should not hesitate to crowd in all partners,” said Kennedy.  

“Looking ahead to the SDG Summit, and next year’s Summit for the Future, we are calling for greater inclusivity of business and stronger cooperation across private and public sectors at all levels,” she added.  

During the spotlight session hosted by IOE and USCIB on “unlocking investment and financing for SDG implementation: the role of private sector partnerships,” Sharrock talked about the importance of partnerships and robust private sector engagement to mobilize financing and investment for Least Developed Countries (LCDs) through blended finance.  

“Private sector engagement can make a large impact through sustainable and affordable financing for all sectors at LDCs—in connectivity, agriculture, energy, sustainable tourism as well as climate action. And this can all be done through scaled use of blended finance instruments,” said Sharrock. “The blended finance model creates an opportunity to increase the size and breadth of investment in LDCs by combining public funds with private investment and advisement to increase impact.”  

The UN is co-organizing the Private Sector Forum at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-5) in Doha, Qatar from March 5 to 9 with Microsoft; USCIB is a member of the Business Advisory Group assisting in planning the LDC5 Private Sector Forum. 


USCIB Statement on Climate COP Outcomes and US Business

New York, N.Y., November 28, 2022—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) sought an “Implementation Plus” approach in the outcomes of the recently concluded 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, in which the international community would realize progress in advancing food and energy security alongside climate action and mobilization of resources.

As a dedicated representative of U.S. business in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), USCIB understands and supports the urgency of tackling climate change, and was concerned that economic and geopolitical challenges could hamper or even prevent a successful outcome of this important meeting.

Despite those headwinds, government delegates were able to conclude with progress in key areas, such as loss and damage, the role of agriculture and the need to advance a just energy transition. However, we were disappointed by the absence of any meaningful reference to the actions taken by and the role of business in the Sharm El Sheikh outcomes.

Attending its 27th COP, USCIB noted an unprecedented showing by its members from every sector of the American economy, on hand to offer solutions and support a successful outcome. In addition, USCIB joined the global business community in speaking out for political will and ambitious action at COP27. Throughout the COP, USCIB welcomed the opportunity to cooperate with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF). We were especially proud to have the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) join BizMEF.

USCIB attended COP27 looking forward to further encouragement and support for pro-active business action, building on pledges made last year by business at the Glasgow meeting.

Throughout COP27, the U.S. private sector demonstrated its actions to mobilize markets and investment in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and support for vulnerable countries and populations that face impacts of climate change. While initiatives, such as the Report of the High-Level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities (UN HLEG), will provide additional thoughts on how such efforts can be strengthened, further work is needed to analyze the fuller implications of the 40 recommendations to drive meaningful, practical progress. USCIB is concerned that overly prescriptive approaches to voluntary pledges and allegations of  “greenwashing” could discourage and hamper further voluntary steps on climate action and finance.

Although COP27 left much still to be done to address the risks and impacts of climate change, USCIB looks to COP28 with resolve and renewed purpose. Without businesses of every sector participating in these vital deliberations, the international community will not be able to fully harness the drive, capability and commitment of business to advance the Paris Agreement.

Across the multilateral system, USCIB will continue to champion a confluence of common interests through practical and inclusive multilateralism. USCIB will forcefully and consistently make the case for catalyzing business knowhow, experience and partnership for innovation, as well as investment and job creation as we move ahead together to deliver on the promises of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC). More at

USCIB Outlines Priorities for UN Climate Meetings (COP27) in Letter to US Government

USCIB policy experts are now at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. In advance of COP27, USCIB sent a letter on behalf of USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, setting out USCIB members priorities for COP27. The letter can be downloaded here, or viewed directly below.

Dear Special Presidential Envoy Kerry:

Addressing the multiple challenges of climate change in all their complexity, alongside advancing food and energy security, are interconnected imperatives. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes the Administration’s leadership as it has engaged with the international community for ambition and progress on these linked issues en route to the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh next week.

As Administration officials have emphasized, COP27 is a chance to focus on “Implementation Plus”– win-win opportunities to incent investment and create jobs for shared climate -friendly prosperity, not just from governments but across society. Implementation Plus approaches should catalyze innovation and trade to deploy U.S. private sector technology and partnerships on mitigation and adaptation. Implementation Plus oriented COP outcomes should encourage synergies between climate and nature protection agendas and actions. And those outcomes should recognize and mainstream supporting frameworks for voluntary pledges from business and other non-state actors.

In particular, USCIB members look for progress at COP27 in the following areas:

  • Just transition for workers, society, and employers: Further discussions of just transition should reflect the fundamental role of social dialogue, and recognize the impacts and opportunities for workers, societies, and employers. In this regard, representative employers’ federations are essential to sound climate change and just transition policy and its implementation.
  • Integrated Approach to Adaptation and Resilience: Incentives for private sector investment are needed to direct funds not only to infrastructure, but also to other key societal sectors for adaptation and resilience, such as agriculture and food production, supply chain, and access to the internet.
  • Enhanced Substantive Engagement of Business and other Stakeholders: The involvement of business in all its diversity is more important than ever to deliver on Paris, Glasgow, and Sharm El-Sheikh commitments. The Administration has consistently supported the inclusion of all stakeholders in the UNFCCC and this is more crucial than ever at COP27. We urge you to continue to speak out strongly for enhanced and meaningful inclusion of business with all stakeholders, and oppose any measures that would discriminate against or exclude any constituency.

In Glasgow, despite unprecedented business commitments to reduce GHGs and mobilize financial and technical resources, COP26 decisions did not mention the private sector apart from a reference to finance. For USCIB, this sent the wrong signal, and contradicts a record of real achievement and commitment by the private sector to do more.

The Administration has encouraged business from every sector to step up on climate change and join diverse U.S. climate initiatives for ambition, green energy, green purchasing, and more. USCIB member companies have responded positively, and many have additionally launched their own actions to keep 1.5 alive, commit to net-zero and meaningfully contribute across numerous other climate-relevant areas.

We ask therefore for your support to include acknowledgement in COP27 outcomes of the distinct role of business, recommending increased dialogue and partnership with the private sector, and consulting with business and employers to hear views and recommendations on policy options under the UNFCCC.

USCIB members will bring their commitment and solutions to tackle climate change to Sharm El Sheikh, and USCIB looks forward to supporting the U.S. delegation at these meetings. We will be joining forces with our global sister organizations, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) to achieve outcomes for broad deployment of lower carbon options across all forms of energy, to strengthen market-based approaches to tackle mitigation and adaptation, and to take international cooperation to a next level of ambition and impact.

Peter M. Robinson
President & CEO

USCIB Participates in ICC Sweden’s Sustainability Committee Meeting in Stockholm

On the margins of the UN meeting, Stockholm+50, on June 3, ICC Sweden opened up their Sustainability Committee Meeting to the public and invited a group of speakers to discuss current environmental policy trends from a global perspective.

Representing USCIB, Agnes Vinblad, policy associate for sustainability, presented on key environmental policy developments of special importance to U.S. Business, including the recently agreed upon UNEA resolution on plastic pollution, and the preparations leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27). In delivering her remarks, Vinblad emphasized the importance of USCIB’s guiding principles of open markets, competitiveness and innovation, and sustainable development and corporate responsibility for and by U.S. companies. Vinblad further mentioned the newly formed UN High Level Experts Group (HLEG) on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments on Non-State Entities, and what this development could mean for businesses and their voluntary net-zero carbon emissions pledges.  

For the section on Global Outlook on Sustainability Developments & New Regulations, Vinblad was joined by Mats Pellback Scharp, head of sustainability at Ericsson and Gabriel Lundstrom, head of ESG Investments at SEB. 

Justin Perrettson, chair of the Global ICC Commission on Environment & Energy, and co-chair of the USCIB Environment Committee, opened the meeting with an overarching presentation on global developments pertaining to sustainability and environmental policy and the role and work of ICC in these areas. 

Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at the Swedish Ministry of Environment Mattias Frumerie also participated in the meeting, speaking on goals and expectations ahead of COP27.  

“After two years of pandemic disruption, in-person meetings like this one are critical and offers valuable opportunities for discussion and collaboration,” said Vinblad, reflecting on a successful meeting. “As the U.S. affiliate of ICC, USCIB especially appreciated this meeting with ICC Sweden’s Sustainability Committee and the great value of coming together to compare challenges and opportunities across the EU and the U.S. as they pertain to environmental policy and regulation.”

Vinblad Speaks on Panel Co-Organized by ILO, UNEP and UNICEF at UN Stockholm+50

Center: USCIB’s Agnes Vinblad

USCIB participated in the high-level international meeting, UN Stockholm+50 from June 2-3 in Stockholm, Sweden, joining over 4,000 other participants. The meeting was planned as a key milestone en route to the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Egypt later this year. Furthermore, Stockholm+50 served as a means to reinvigorate and renew international environmental multilateralism after the worst impacts of the pandemic. The meeting commemorated the first UN Conference on the Human Environment held fifty years ago, also in Stockholm, in 1972. Topics such as the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution took center stage with plenty of references to the UNEA 5.2 resolution on plastics pollution, and, to principle 1 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration – the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. 

Representing USCIB, and as one of the few U.S. business representatives on hand, was Policy Associate for Sustainability Agnes Vinblad. Vinblad was joined by Co-Chair of the USCIB Environment Committee Justin Perrettson (Novozymes), as well as Melissa Kopolow and Melissa Estok – USCIB members from Albright Stonebridge Group.  

The U.S. Government delegation was led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) John Kerry and Assistant Secretary Monica Medina. USCIB was in regular contact with the U.S. Delegation in the lead-up to Stockholm+50 and Vinblad met with members of the delegation during the conference emphasizing the need to consider U.S. business views in these critical conversations.   

Nominated by IOE, Vinblad joined a panel co-organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and UNICEF on the role of private sector engagement in green jobs creation for youth. This panel was part of an official side event at Stockholm+50 titled Green Jobs for Youth and some of the key messages emphasized during the panel included: 

  • the green and circular economy may create 100 million jobs by 2030 – the private sector will stand at the core of this transition; 
  • the transition will have to be just to ensure that there will be a transition at all; 
  • green jobs in renewables and environmental protection are rapidly growing – a development clearly driven by the private sector.   

Vinblad was joined on the panel by Naoko Ishii, former chief executive of the Global Environment Facility and chairperson of the Global Advisory Board of the University of Tokyo; Vladislav Kaim, Children and Youth constituency to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (YOUNGO) Green Jobs focal point and UN Secretary General Youth Advisor on Climate Change; and Nate Williams, senior director, Economic Graph partnerships, LinkedIn. 

“Overall, Stockholm+50 furthered the trend toward convergence of current legally binding environmental deliberations, for example the development of a new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework via the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the recently adopted UNEA resolution on plastic pollution,” said Vinblad in summarizing the outcomes of the high-level UN meeting. “By allowing space to discuss all these critical topics and agreements in one joint forum, it yet again emphasized the need to act on the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution in a cohesive manner, guided by the true interconnectedness of these issues.” 

To find more details on the outcomes of Stockholm+50 and the ten Key Recommendations presented by the co-chairs Sweden and Kenya, please review this document 

USCIB Comments on Proposed SEC Climate Risk Disclosure Rule, Emphasizing Considerations for Global Companies

USCIB filed comments on June 17 on a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule on climate risk disclosure applicable to public companies. USCIB Committees on Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs, Corporate Governance and Environment all contributed to the development of USCIB’s SEC submission.

USCIB members support enhancing and standardizing climate-related disclosures, with due attention to ensure disclosures are material. In addition, USCIB members have made important commitments and are mobilizing action and investment to reduce GHGs and plan for near- and long-term risks, including those due to climate change.

The far-reaching proposed SEC rule has implications far beyond disclosure, according to USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy. “The proposed rule will significantly impact private sector climate change planning and management practices in a variety of ways, including how companies oversee, manage, assess and mitigate climate risk and impacts of climate change, the data companies collect as well as how companies assess and validate that data,” stressed Kennedy.

Kennedy also stated: “these wider considerations raise several key questions for companies doing business internationally, and therefore warrant careful consideration, and an inclusive discussion with the business community as this proposed SEC rule is further developed.”

USCIB comments concentrated on five priority areas in the proposed rule as especially relevant to American companies across a wide range of sectors doing business in the global marketplace:

  • Inter-operability of the proposed SEC Rule with current and emerging regulations, standards, and initiatives abroad
  • Tracking and reflecting greenhouse gas emissions involved in complicated supply chains, including outside the U.S.
  • Tracking and reflecting Scope 3 Emissions, including outside the U.S.
  • Unintended consequences for future voluntary climate initiatives and goals
  • Assessing Climate and Transition Risks in multiple jurisdictions abroad

“The five areas indicated are significant considerations for the effectiveness of the proposed Rule, and if not addressed, would entail substantial costs and other burdens for U.S. business, while confusing investors with copious, non-material information,” added Kennedy. “Clarification and revision in these areas would benefit the viability of the proposed rule, while reducing unnecessary burdens on U.S. companies.”

USCIB Represents U.S. Business at United Nations Preparatory Meetings on COP27

The United Nations concluded two weeks of preparatory meetings in advance of the next Climate Summit, known as COP27, which will be held November 8-18 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.  As the first official negotiations since Glasgow in 2021, this meeting brought all UN member states, UN bodies, business and other groups to discuss urgently accelerating implementation of the Paris Agreement.

According to USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, who was on the ground representing U.S. business, the intense session included special presentations of the most recent scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and technical roundtables under the “global stock take,” which will assess the need for and degree of additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions required to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C. The session also took up further development of “Article 6” measures to allow carbon trading and offsets under the Paris Agreement. Working on the ground with Kennedy was also USCIB Policy and Program Associate for Sustainability, Agnes Vinblad.

In addition, new attention is now being directed toward the private sector with respect to voluntary pledges and initiatives, such as those announced last year at the Glasgow Summit. The UN Secretary General and the UNFCCC High Level Champions have each recently announced new initiatives to review such voluntary announcements to ensure they are being put into practice.

At a meeting with members of the U.S. Government delegation at Bonn, Co-Chair of the USCIB Environment Committee Justin Perrettson (Novozymes) called out the “importance of private sector innovation to tackle the inter-linked challenges of climate change, food security and energy transitions,” and went on to highlight the need to include business in the implementation phase of the Convention.

The most contentious issues in Bonn concerned mobilizing financial resources for adaptation to impacts of climate change, and the establishment of a fund to provide compensation for loss and damage caused by climate change.

As the host of COP27, Egypt is expected to place particular emphasis on food and water security, just transition, and adaptation for resilience. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), serving as the official focal point for business in the UNFCCC, has already begun dialogue with Egyptian government authorities on key topics relating to carbon markets, the role of SMEs and ways to further increase ambition across private and public sectors.