The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) convened a business workshop under the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue process last week. The day-long meeting at ICC Headquarters in Paris brought business leaders together with influential government representatives leading the UNFCCC negotiations to discuss where business can contribute and strengthen implementation of national and international climate policy.
The Talanoa Dialogue, previously referred to as the Facilitative Dialogue, aims to overview collaborative action by governments, business and others to move the global climate agenda. A year-long process of discussions, consultations, events and expert inputs that will culminate at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland, the Talanoa Dialogue is the first time business and other stakeholder inputs are to be mainstreamed into the UNFCCC deliberations. ICC serves as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point for business and industry, and has represented global business in the UN climate deliberations since 1993.
Tomasz Chruszczow, climate champion, Poland, opened the meeting with a plea for business involvement, stating, “Business creates jobs, makes investment decisions. We need business to solve the challenges ahead in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.” Phil Kucharski, ICC’s chief operating officer announced that ICC would make an organization-wide commitment to both the Paris Agreement and to inform the Talanoa Dialogue.
The Talanoa Dialogue is a process led by Fiji to invite and gather information, examples and discussion on 3 questions relating to the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the need for additional greenhouse gas reductions, resilience, funding and technology cooperation:
-Where are We?
-Where are We Going?
-How Do we Get There?
“While the Talanoa questions appear very basic, business will re-frame them to be relevant to private sector investment and implementation, and then bring forward value-added information and recommendations in response,” stated Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on climate change, energy and the environment. Other USCIB members attending this workshop included Nick Campbell, Arkema and Justin Perrettson, Novozymes.
The discussion tackled concerns with assertions made by anti-business interests about “conflict of interest” as a justification to ban certain business sectors from observing the UNFCCC deliberations. Elina Bardram, head of Unit for International Climate Negotiations, European Commission stated that since the challenges involved in catalyzing climate action are daunting “for technical negotiators alone to tackle, so we need real world expertise – from business & other non-parties – included in the process.”
Other speakers included Deo Saran, Fiji’s ambassador to Belgium and permanent representative to the European Union and Brigitte Collet, France’s ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energy & Climate Risk Prevention.
USCIB recently submitted recommendations to the UNFCCC on the importance of substantive business involvement in the UNFCCC going forward. USCIB will work closely with ICC in future Talanoa Dialogue meetings, and will consult its members as it prepares USCIB contributions to the Talanoa Dialogue scoping exercise en route to the next UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice, Poland in December.