U.S. Business Appeals for Private-Sector Role in UN Climate Talks

L-R: Pierre Dejoux (Otis/United Technologies), Alexandra Liftman (Bank of America) and Peter Robinson (USCIB)
L-R: Pierre Dejoux (Otis/United Technologies), Alexandra Liftman (Bank of America) and Peter Robinson (USCIB)

Paris, December 7, 2015 – American business representatives gathered at the UN climate summit in Paris have appealed to governments to establish a mechanism for ongoing, substantive dialogue with the private sector, saying such a mechanism is essential to achieving COP21’s goal of effectively addressing global climate change.

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) and the American Chamber of Commerce in France issued a joint declaration following a business briefing on December 5 that coincided with the halfway point of COP21.

The declaration stated: “Until now, business groups have been viewed as ‘observers’ at these vital UN deliberations. Yet in view of all that business does and offers, that is a misnomer. We see COP21 as a pivotal opportunity to pursue institutional innovation. New challenges require new ways of working together, which can be achieved through the recognition and expansion of partnerships, dialogue and consultation between governments and the private sector.”

The two business groups said a new business consultative mechanism would provide both long-term and short-term benefits, helping governments prioritize policies to address climate change, while allowing companies to better invest in cleaner technologies and solutions. This mechanism could provide national governments and the UN secretariat with detailed technical guidance on a range of matters, including implementation of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) at the national and international levels.

“COP21 gives us an opportunity to develop workable solutions. These can only be found if the private and public sector work together. It is time for the UN to provide a recognized interface for business engagement so that together we build solutions that make a difference in the fight against climate change.” Pierre Dejoux (Otis/United Technologies), member of the board and representative of the Green Growth Committee at AmCham France. The Green Growth Committee, made up of representatives from large corporations, SMEs and startups, leads AmCham’s actions on climate change and sustainability issues. Through its network of committees, AmCham’s role as a business enabler focuses on facilitating exchanges amongst private sector actors and on fostering a dialogue with public authorities in France.

“Our takeaway from today is that the UN needs business,” USCIB President CEO Peter Robinson said at the meeting. “It needs a solid working relationship between business and the UN system. To be sure, business needs the UN Climate Agreement – but more importantly, the UNFCCC needs business.”

With over twenty years’ experience of direct engagement in the UN climate process, USCIB is representing American business at COP21 in its capacity as the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which is serving as the umbrella business coordinator in Paris, and as a member of the Business Major Economies Forum (BizMEF), which encompasses national business groups from the leading economies around the world.

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. 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 www.uscib.org.

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org.

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.
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