Copenhagen Leaves Critical Business Unfinished USCIB Urges A Return to Priorities

USCIB urges a return to priorities

3960_image002New York, N.Y., December 22, 2009 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) acknowledges the recent Copenhagen climate conference as an important step towards a truly global, cooperative post-2012 framework, pending the clear expression of commitments and mitigation actions.  However, U.S. companies are disappointed that the UN process has not yet delivered a more ambitious agreement.

“For American business, reaching a clear, ambitious, inclusive and legally binding agreement is a critical economic and environmental priority,” said Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for environment and energy.  “While governments in Copenhagen provided a basis for further work, much remains to be done in 2010 to deliver the clarity, flexibility and enabling frameworks that business has long advocated.”

USCIB joins the International Chamber of Commerce, the world business body that coordinated industry representation in Copenhagen, in calling on governments to focus on economic and technological priorities when they return to the table in 2010.

“There is major work ahead in setting out detailed elements, in particular those aimed at making the monitoring, reporting and verification processes operational,” according to ICC Secretary General Jean Rozwadowski.

For USCIB, critical elements in a post-2012 global framework on climate change involve investment, technology, trade and intellectual property rights.

“International trade is a proven path to economic growth and technological advancement,” according to USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “As countries trade more, they grow richer and have additional resources to devote to environmental protection.  Both industrialized and developing countries have a clear stake in coordinated action to open markets, stimulate private investment and tackle global warming.”

Mr. Robinson and Ms. Kennedy joined USCIB members in attending the Copenhagen conference.  USCIB organized a side event, titled “Trade, Investment and Climate Change – Synergies for Economic Growth and Environmental Progress,” to underscore the American business community’s strong commitment to positive and mutually reinforcing outcomes in global climate and trade negotiations.

Technological innovation and deployment are indispensable to climate mitigation and adaptation.  Throughout the two-week conference, U.S. business contributed ideas and solutions to address the climate challenge, including at events like Copenhagen Business Day and the Bright Green Exhibition.

“U.S. companies have already taken substantial action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Ms. Kennedy.  “With post-2012 clarity, predictability and flexibility through a global framework agreement, more can be accomplished.”

According to ICC’s Mr. Rozwadowski, there is a greater need than ever for business to work with governments to help rapidly advance decisions made in Copenhagen, in order to establish the terms and procedures that will give business the predictability it requires to plan, innovate and invest.

“We hope to see the creation of more innovative ways for the UNFCCC to benefit from business expertise and actions as governments resume their crucial work in 2010,” he said.

USCIB promotes international engagement and prudent regulation in support of open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of the economy, and 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.

Contact:

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

ICC website

More on USCIB’s Environment Committee

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 is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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