Business Priorities for UN Climate Agreement Implementation

Norine Kennedy and Peter Robinson speak at a press conference on December 9 at COP21 in Paris.
Norine Kennedy and Peter Robinson speak at a press conference on December 9 at COP21 in Paris.

Following last year’s landmark conclusion of the United Nations climate negotiations (COP21) culminating in the Paris Agreement, an international treaty designed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, USCIB attended the first meeting of the UN’s Ad Hoc Working Group (APA) on the Paris Accord on May 17 in Bonn, Germany to provide business views on the agreement’s implementation.

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for strategic international engagement, energy and environment, spoke on behalf of the Business and Industry NGOs at the first meeting of the APA on May 17. She noted that COP21 saw an unprecedented level of business support for the Paris Agreement, and that business across all sectors provides solutions for the world’s mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

“Business develops and provides sustainable solutions in energy production and use, industry, building, transport, energy efficiency, smart cities, water and food security, industrial processes, finance and others that will all be needed for the ambitious, effective global strategy we are embarked on together,” Kennedy said at the meeting.

Kennedy said that transparency, innovation, and investment and markets are business priorities for immediate attention as the UN implements the climate agreement:

Transparency

Defining common rules to measure, report and verify commitments will be essential for the long-term success of the Agreement, and will help promote business support.  Credibility and predictability are vital considerations for private sector planning and investments.

Innovation

All countries and business sectors need to support developing new skills to respond to climate change challenges, enabling energy transitions and shaping public policies for sustainable economies.  Enabling frameworks for innovation and its dissemination, including intellectual property rights protection, are essential. Predictable and transparent policy conditions, open trade and investment and a level playing field in global markets are a prerequisite for effective climate protection.

Investment and Markets

Business welcomes Article 6, because in our view, all markets — including for carbon, goods or financial — should be enlisted to support and deliver results for mitigation and adaptation. Market-based approaches should synergize with other existing policies and options such as international standards, voluntary agreements or other regulatory instruments.

Because business has the relevant expertise to contribute to the review and strengthening of countries’ climate pledges, Kennedy said that a recognized channel for business engagement with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a must.

“In our view, an institutionalized channel within the UNFCCC for private-sector consultation and engagement would provide the necessary institutional infrastructure to support dialogue, partnership and action in short and long term,” she concluded. “This recognized and regular interface should feature not only at high level events, but in all working aspects of the UNFCCC.”

Staff Contact:   Norine Kennedy

VP, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment
Tel: 212.703.5052

Norine Kennedy promotes U.S. business participation in international environmental policy and management initiatives, and works closely with industry, government and NGOs to promote sustainable development and green growth. She also spearheads USCIB’s strategic international engagement initiative, which seeks to advance meaningful business participation and regulatory diplomacy in inter-governmental organizations.
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