United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Business & Industry

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MAJOR GROUP
CLIMATE CHANGE TALKING POINTS
for the IPM (26 Feb ? 2 Mar 2007)
28 FEBRUARY 2007
Business recognizes that climate change presents risks of serious environmental and
economic consequences. Addressing these risks is clearly a high priority, long-term
concern for governments and business. All countries face the challenges of
mitigating and adapting to the potential impacts of climate change. Both developed
and developing countries will have to pursue integrated and harmonious sustainable
economic growth and climate change policies, recognizing that developing countries
are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Business would like to highlight the following:
�� Evolution of the world?s energy systems will be at the core of efforts to reduce
GHG emissions. All primary energy resources will need to be considered,
and existing and new technologies will be directed to more efficient and
less greenhouse gas emitting performance. This will involve widespread
implementation of energy efficiency and a broad mix of energy sources including
cleaner fossil fuels, nuclear power, hydro power and renewables as well as the
development of sequestration approaches, including land use changes,
afforestation, and carbon capture and storage.
�� While industrialised countries have been primarily responsible for GHG emissions
over the last century, emissions from large developing countries such as China,
India, Brazil and South Korea are increasing rapidly. Hence, addressing
climate change internationally will take the commitment of all major actors
to succeed.
�� Business supports energy efficiency to help reduce energy costs, energy
consumption and negative environmental impacts, in particular climate
change. Business will continue to play a role in both demand and supply
orientated policies and approaches. In order to promote and enhance energy
efficiency, business supports the following actions:
? The establishment of energy efficiency programmes and partnerships through
international cooperation.
? The adoption of energy efficiency strategies by Government, business and
civil society in their own operations.
? The promotion and enhancement of energy efficiency along value chains.
? The provision of incentives for actions where the direct benefits of energy
efficiency improvements are not gained.
�� Well designed long term policy frameworks are essential to addressing the
challenges of climate change:
? Realistic long-term frameworks and cooperative approaches will ensure that
both business and governments can make investment and planning decisions
that will help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
? Addressing climate change requires the commitment and participation of all
major emitters.
? Principles of fairness, equity and cost effectiveness are crucially important,
particularly for developing countries with their own economic development
priorities.
? Barriers to investment should be addressed and incentives created to
promote diffusion of new and existing technologies.
? Market mechanisms should be improved to maximize impact, reduce costs
and avoid distortions in competition between companies and nations.
? Rapid deployment of sustainable energy production and efficient end-use
technologies, systems and practices is essential.
? Transfer of technology between developed and developing countries should
be promoted, while protecting intellectual property rights. Barriers to
technology transfer should be identified and eliminated.
? Consumer education and demand side management policies will help provide
consumers with options for energy efficient products and services.
? Substantial investment by government and business will be required.
Investors and financiers need to be attracted to allocating capital to low
greenhouse gas infrastructure, products and services.
�� Significant investment is required to maintain, grow and deliver the energy
supplies required to meet future demand in a sustainable manner and to
address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Many business and
investment decisions, particularly in energy and industrial sectors, are considered
over long time horizons (e.g. 20-50 years). Investment decisions, for example in
new infrastructure, that are taken now will effectively set emission pathways for
many years. Current prioritization and allocation of funds will influence
technologies, infrastructures, and energy options for decades to come.
�� Business is investing resources towards technology advancement and
deployment of lower carbon, renewable and more efficient technologies.
Developing and utilizing both existing and new energy technologies are critical to
improve access to energy, promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. Governments need to support business technological
development and deployment activities by:
? Funding R&D activities directly (research centers) and indirectly (universities);
? Assisting in capacity-building initiatives by streamlining processes for
international cooperation and participation;
? Supporting R&D and technology transfer across borders, by lowering tariffs,
maintaining strong intellectual property right protection and establishing trade
agreements;
? Providing an R&D friendly environment by guaranteeing a workable effective
patent system;
? Engaging major stakeholders in discussions on the advancement of
innovation and new technologies.
�� Business believes that voluntary multi-stakeholder partnerships can
address climate change challenges. Successful partnerships allow the
strengths and areas of participants to be combined for practical and visible
results. The business community works with partners to identify, develop,
commercialize and deploy technologies suited to individual national priorities,
resource availability and development strategies. Governments, business and
civil society need to partner to leverage resources to provide training, share
knowledge and skills, share more sustainable energy technologies and cooperate
to accelerate their dissemination. Business will continue to play an important
role in finding solutions, within its sphere of responsibility, in partnership with
other stakeholders. Further, Governments need to continue to support
partnerships by:
? Participating in partnerships and offering local expertise as well as financial
resources and infrastructure;
? Establishing a regulatory environment that supports the formation of
partnerships.