COP 21 will be held in Paris in December 2015. It will be play a major role in deciding the measures that will be taken by all state parties in the UNFCCC in order to effectively address the risks of climate change; risks that the recent IPCC report indicates are accelerating.
It is within the framework of COP 21 that the terms of a new international agreement should be defined. These terms will consequently replace those of the Kyoto Protocol, with the aim of limiting global temperature rises to 2°C by 2100.
Since the identification of the first climactic risks in 1992 (and the creation of UNFCCC), businesses around the world have developed innovative strategies and implemented solutions which have helped make considerable progress in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
It is important to recall that businesses undertaken their activities within a legal framework. It is therefore essential that the public policies provide precise and non-contradictory signals that guarantee the stability, predictability and sustainability of the institutional framework. It should allow companies to implement environmentally favourable measures in the medium and long term; the companies need to have visibility and “long term” perspective.
Against this background, companies are prepared to commit to the following six points:
1. Prioritise the development and deployment of innovative technologies around the twin tracks of innovation/progress, to support actions of all public and private economic agents - both territorial and national - against climate change around the world.
2. Continue towards a low-carbon economy: companies remain involved in carbon markets, which should be structured according to energy resources and the specificities of each geographic area or country.
3.Participate in the development of ‘green’ infrastructure, which can no longer be the sole responsibility of public authorities: to increase their involvement, companies wish that support measures are put into place, notably including:
- Effective mechanisms for sharing risks;
- Increased company participation ahead of projects;
- A clear allocation of responsibilities;
- A strengthened fight against the risks of corruption;
- Universal compliance of international standards on environmental and social impact
- Support for low carbon innovation.
4-According to local conditions, systematically choose - from several solutions - those that best satisfy the principles of the fight against climate change, and deploy the most advanced techniques to limit, or even eliminate, GHG emissions in geographical areas with high-carbon energy.
5.Further transparency through declarative processes and reporting/monitoring
mechanisms: companies are very committed to the fight against GHG emission fraud, which may distort both the market and competition:
- They accept the declaratory obligations principle, but only accompanied by a fair
monitoring system based on new technologies (satellite surveillance?).
- They suggest extending the content to include the entire finished and semifinished product and service life cycle;
- They recommend approaching extra-financial rating agencies who have developed sustainability matrices;
- With the help of its worldwide network of national committees, the International
Chamber of Commerce can play a role in incentivising and encouraging its members to make honest, sincere and comprehensive reports.
6. Contribute to raising awareness among all stakeholders, particularly regarding those who have an influence on the companies:
- Employees through continuous training programmes in climate change;
- Partners through institutional partnership policies and sponsorship;
- Other stakeholders: members of the public, customers, and the opinion and
decision makers with which companies operate.
To summarise, in the positive agenda for the next COP, companies propose to include commitments on:
- Technological innovations to effectively fight global warming;
- The co-financing of green infrastructure;
- The implementation of “climate” codes of conduct by sector;
- Greater transparency and assessment of actions in the framework of the MRV process (Monitoring Reporting Verification);
- An enhanced CSR policy including relevant climate-related criteria.
In order to support an international agreement on climate change, businesses believe that UNFCCC must develop an observatory of best practices and initiatives (a hub of effective, transferable and tested solutions) regarding low carbon energy performance.