USCIB urged senior U.S. cabinet officials to include business in talks about limiting greenhouse gas emissions as part of the United Nations’ global effort to develop a new international cooperative climate accord.
In December 2015, world leaders are expected to conclude a new UN climate agreement, the world’s first binding and universal agreement committing all countries to reduce carbon their emissions. This international agreement is built around each country’s individual Independent Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs), or national pledge, whereby the country commits to reducing its carbon footprint by a certain amount in the coming decades.
The United States released its INDC proposal on March 31, unveiling a blueprint for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third over the next 15 years. The private sector was not consulted during the drafting of America’s INDC proposal. Business is expected to support and finance the UN’s climate agreement; therefore business must be included in talks to inform the national pledges and the world’s climate change agenda at every step, from setting priorities, to crafting policy options, to taking action.
“We have a common interest in INDCs that are successful and synergistic with international regulatory frameworks and the global marketplace,” wrote USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson in a letter sent Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other senior U.S. cabinet officials. “We believe that NDCs can be strengthened and aligned through consultation and coordination with business to discuss how proposed efforts will affect the economy and environment, where additional initiatives can supplement and add to INDC submissions and to seek advice on how to assess proposals by other nations.”
USCIB is a member of the Major Economies Business Forum on Energy Security and Climate Change (BizMEF), which comprises national and regional business organizations representing millions of companies all over the world. BizMEF members have participated in and shared at UN climate change conferences since the Copenhagen conference in 2009. BizMEF released a set of views on how business can contribute to the development and implementation of INDCs:
- Business has a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to offer concerning creation and dissemination of innovative technologies and approaches to manage risk and promote opportunities that should be a the very heart of discussions – formal and informal, domestic and international – about what INDCs could achieve.
- Early and continuous involvement of business (and others) will be essential to help understand the feasibility and implications of proposed INDCs. Business can also provide insight on implications of the entire portfolio of proposed INDCs for global commerce, investment, competitiveness and aggregate consequences for emissions and the economy.
- Business has significant experience in measuring, reporting and verification which will be essential to assess policy impacts, environmental integrity and comparative efforts among nations.
As negotiations intensify around the UN climate agreement set to be finalized in Paris in December, USCIB encourages all governments to consult with business going forward to help understand and assess each country’s national pledge.