Business Makes the Case for Stronger Role in UN Climate Process

4410_image001Doha, Qatar, December 7, 2012 – As the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) nears its conclusion, the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF) – a coalition of 20 cross-sectoral business groups from six continents, including USCIB – is in dialogue with governments to develop better ways to inform the international climate deliberations.

Business and many governments view the effort as timely in light of efforts now underway to create new institutions on finance, technology and adaptation, and to begin negotiation of a new, long-term agreement.

“It is clear that business offers a deep and broad resource of expertise and information,” according to Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president of environment and energy. “This can strengthen the practicality and economic viability of a comprehensive post-2020 agreement, supported by trade, investment and innovation.”

Earlier this week, the “Doha Dialogue” brought together government and business delegates to highlight the important role of business and consider ways to enhance it. The effort builds on public-private dialogues organized by Mexico and South Africa, previous COP hosts. The Doha Dialogue was convened by BizMEF with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Dialogue is part of a larger effort by BizMEF and other business groups to work together toward a recognized channel for business to contribute its expertise and practical experience to the climate change talks.

Abdullah bin Mubarak Bin Ebood al Maadadi, Qatar’s environment minister, opened the dialogue at the Doha Hilton before a standing room-only audience that included ministers and senior officials from Denmark, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Korea, Switzerland, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, as well as business leaders from across the globe.

Government representatives were supportive of an enhanced business role in the UN talks. “The Doha Dialogue has provided a unique opportunity to enhance business engagement in the UNFCCC process, which is necessary for climate negotiations to be practical and pragmatic,” stated Ambassador Masafumi Ishii, director general for global issues with the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs.

BizMEF spokesperson Brian Flannery said participants agreed to build on the success in the Doha session at next year’s conference of the parties. “We were delighted that ministers, negotiators and others endorsed the value that business experience and advice can bring to the international process,” he said. “We welcome the encouragement from governments and others. We will continue the dialogues to develop more effective avenues for a full range of business participation.”

USCIB’s Kennedy added: “No single entity can speak for all of the business community. What’s needed is a dedicated channel where governments can get a broad range of business views. The Doha Dialogue showed we have valuable experience to share. Now we just need to set up an architecture to make it happen.”

“Business engagement to the UNFCCC process is key for a successful solution,” said Hiroyuki Tezuka, chair of the global environmental strategy working group at the Japanese business federation KEIDANREN. “The business sector has the experience, technologies and best practices to cope with the complex issues related to climate change.”

More information on BizMEF’s membership, role is available at www.bizmef.org.

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, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

More on USCIB’s Environment Committee

Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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