USCIB Welcomes Durban Agreement as a Turning Point in UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s environment minister and president of the COP17 negotiations, at a post-conference press briefing.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s environment minister and president of the COP17 negotiations, at a post-conference press briefing.

New York, N.Y., December 12, 2011 – Defying low expectations and difficult circumstances, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 17th Conference of the Parties, which concluded yesterday in Durban, South Africa, opens the door to a new international climate framework, with appropriate reductions and other actions from both developed and developing countries, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).  The business group also said the Durban platform would set into operation new institutions for financing, adaptation and technology to address climate change.

“While it will be challenging for all major economies to construct a new international agreement, we look forward to working with governments to seek opportunities for U.S. companies to offer their insight and practical recommendations on implementation in ways that will grow economies, create jobs and advance sustainable development,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson.

USCIB, which represents American business in global policy deliberations and works to expand trade and investment, applauded U.S. efforts at COP17 to promote enabling frameworks for technological innovation that protect intellectual property rights protection, and engage the private sector’s expertise and resources, as well as its commitment to advancing transparency and private-sector engagement in the new architecture.

USCIB was represented in Durban by Norine Kennedy, vice president for energy and environment, and executives from a number of member companies.  It highlighted the need for integrated solutions that promote energy access and security, while deploying technologies and market approaches to address climate risks, since U.S. businesses doing business in international markets need long-range predictability and stability to plan, invest and operate.

USCIB has encouraged countries to pursue more deliberative and effective ways to interact with business in the design and implementation of new UNFCCC institutions and measures since Cancun.  USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, which has long served  as the business focal point in the climate negotiations, and also participates in the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF), which prepared six position papers for Durban (available by clicking here).

Ms. Kennedy said of the Durban platform:“It seems that governments are coming to face the reality of a world that has changed in many ways since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997.  The challenge now is to set the stage for a long-term agreement that involves all major emitters, engages the public and private sectors, and works with globalized markets, in harmony with trade and investment rules.”

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top 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 at

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
(212) 703-5043,

More on USCIB’s Environment Committee

USCIB Green Economies Dialogue website

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 has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
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