UN urges firms to push for climate action

2012-01-27 09:25

Davos - The world has no chance of sealing an emissions cut deal unless companies lobby their governments for an accord, the UN climate chief told the global business elite in Davos.

"Even though governments have said in Durban 'Yes we're going to dedicate the next three years to negotiating and agreeing by 2015 a new legally binding agreement', let's be very clear, that is not going to happen," said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"That is not going to happen merely from the top down perspective. That is only going to happen if it's bottom up, if the private sector moves in.

"Unless you have this from the bottom up, unless you have very powerful pressure from consumers, from private sector, from civil society to governments to say 'Yes, this is what we want, as a humankind this is what we want', it's not going to happen because it's just too big," she added.

Marathon talks in December delivered a broad agreement to seal a new accord by 2015 on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which have been blamed for global warming.


Corporations would not be spared if the world continued to heat up, leading to warped weather events, said Figueres.

Citing the devastating floods in Bangkok late in 2011, the UN climate chief noted the disaster "shut down 25% of hard-drive computer production around the world".

"If that's not an example of how intricately linked we are, how governments and private sector need to work together, there's just no more compelling example than that," she said.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga also called on corporations to play their part even if governments agreed in Durban to launch the Green Climate Fund.

This will help channel up to $100bn a year by 2020 to poor countries facing worsening floods, drought, storms and rising seas.

"But more funds are needed, and as bureaucrats continue to talk, people continue to suffer almost on a daily basis, so something has to be done.

"That's where the private sector comes in, as a partner... to move this agenda forward," he said.

However, the chair of Africa's biggest energy company Eskom Holdings threw the ball back in the governments' court.

Companies consider risks above all before taking on any new ventures, said Zola Tsotsi, who heads the South African group.

Therefore, governments need to show determination to fight climate change in order to convince corporations to throw in their lot.

"Governments and countries need to show commitment in their involvement in mitigation and climate change," he said.

"By so doing they should make the treasuries available to show that guarantees are in place for those who want to invest in these areas."

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-27 10:53

    smoke and mirrors once again. climate change is a naturally occurring cycle that has been part of earths natural cycle since the beginning of time, it will still be here long after we are gone. No amount to "action" on the part of man will stop or reverse it. If one simply listens to what the supposed experts say the lie is clearly seen, scientist say farming must become more climate friendly as it contributes 20% to the climate change effect......does this mean we must stop eating? Australia wanted to kill off kangaroo's because their farts contribute to climate change, hell breathing contributes to climate change. How far does the lie get taken? The truth as stated above, and it is the truth, implies that those in power already know that the cycle will continue no matter what, which therefor begs the question, why make changes at all....... unless making changes means the average man land up paying more for less and increasing the profit margins on all items, ensuring the elite make more money. Climate change has nothing to do with the planet and everything to do with profit. That the man on the street cannot or does not want to make this realization, and continually buys into the lies put forward is testament to the success of the elite, and the dumbing down of the population.

      Ernst - 2012-01-27 13:49

      You repeat the same trash everytime you comment. What makes you an expert? Are you saying the scientists with PHD's, that are actively researching this issue, have got it wrong? If you are so smart, then why dont you type up your findings and present them to the experts. We will see how far you get.....

      Ernst - 2012-01-27 13:51

      Do you honestly think that climate scientists would have been stupid enough to not have considered the possibility that current climate change is natural?

      Richard - 2012-01-28 08:18

      There are many many client scientists that do not agree with the findings.. In fact, considering the amount of grants received for climate research and the unpopularity of of speaking out against climate change as a scientist, it's surprising that 40% of these scientists will admit they have found no evidence that leads then to believe we are the cause of climate change...

      Ernst - 2012-01-28 10:12

      @Richard: No. 98% of climate scientists actively publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals agree that human activity is to blame. See: "In fact, considering the amount of grants received for climate research and the unpopularity of of speaking out against climate change as a scientist, it's surprising....." Your assertion that climate scientists are somehow corrupt and pushing the consensus view to get research grants is based on sweeping statements and heresay, nothing more. Read the peer reviewed literature.

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