Business Sets Sights on Deeper Engagement in Climate Talks

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, pictured here at last December’s conference in Copenhagen, will attend the Cancun event.

New York, N.Y. and Cancun, Mexico, November 30, 2010 – Under the banner of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), global business has a strong and constructive presence at the United Nations climate change conference which began this week in Cancun, Mexico.  Business leaders are seeking enhanced channels for engagement to ensure that the process benefits from the private sector’s dynamism and expertise, according to ICC’s American affiliate.

“Cancun offers an important opportunity to take steps toward meaningful global action beyond 2012 that involves all countries and the business community in a climate-friendly return to economic growth,” said Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).

Mr. Robinson said for global talks to succeed, the private sector must be a partner, since “it will deliver the lion’s share of the technology, capital and know-how to address this global challenge.”  He will be in Cancun for the second half of the two-week diplomatic conference, where he will join Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for energy and environment, and a sizeable business contingent.

The Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative business organization in the world, providing private-sector views to the UN and other multilateral bodies, as well as national governments.  Its thousands of member companies in over 140 countries, including Mexico, have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise.

In its role as the official business and industry focal point in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, ICC continues to work for closer cooperation between governments and business, and strives to ensure that governments create an enabling framework for business to continue developing and implementing practical climate change solutions across the full range of emissions reductions, efficiency and adaptation.

In the lead-up to the Cancun gathering, ICC, along with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), helped facilitate business involvement in a series of discussions on topics critical to the negotiations. Initiated and sponsored by the Mexican government, the “Mexican Dialogues” aimed to provide informal private-sector input into the official process, and to increase understanding between business and governments on public/private-sector synergies in finance, markets and technology.

In Cancun, ICC will once again co-host the annual Business Day on December 6 with the WBCSD, which will focus on “building bridges” to deliver effective climate solutions.

Despite uncertainty after the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen last year, global business continues to support the development of a robust post-2012 framework agreement.

“Cancun can help drive the process forward by setting the conditions to stimulate private-sector investment and spur innovation in efficient and low-emitting technologies,” said Jean Guy Carrier, ICC’s secretary general.

Financing’s crucial role

In 2009, several governments committed to mobilize $100 billion (U.S.) a year for climate finance by 2020.  But such large flows will require responsible institutions with sound governance and increased trust.  In a letter last week to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, USCIB underscored the need for improved synergy of public monies and private finance to fight climate change.

In a separate statement, ICC stressed that business invests when there is a clear and predictable policy framework.  It urged negotiators to establish a set of clearly outlined financing goals and objective, transparent governance procedures to help businesses understand the public policy agenda on climate finance. Setting conditions and mobilizing finance will also be the focus of an ICC roundtable on December 1, co-hosted in partnership with Responding to Climate Change.

In addition, ICC is pressing negotiators to ensure that any agreement reached is workable, in terms of  promoting technology transfer in concert with markets and commercial transactions, and respects intellectual property rights. ICC will explore the issues involved in technology development and deployment in a panel event in Cancun on December 3.

ICC has also called on governments to assure the continuity of current UNFCCC market mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism.  ICC hopes that negotiators will send a strong signal to indicate the continuation after 2012 of market mechanisms that have a role to play in addressing climate change.

The world business body will be engaged for the duration of the Cancun talks and will host numerous briefings and events in addition to those noted above.  For more information on these events, please click here.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at


Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or

Mary Kelly, ICC (Cancun)
+33 6 or

Alba Rooney, ICC (Paris)
Tel: +33 1 or

USCIB letter to Secretary Geithner on climate financing

ICC statement on finance and climate change

ICC website

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Read More

Related Content