"Communiqué from International Business Leaders in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2007"
as published in the Finacial Times and at www.balicommunique.com on 30 November 2007. The conference is taking place in Bali from 3 to 15 December 2007. (Copyright notice)
This communiqué comes from the business leaders of over 150 global companies. It is being issued in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2007, taking place from December 3 to 14 in Bali, Indonesia.
The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. Climate change presents very serious global social, environmental and economic risks and it demands an urgent global response.
As business leaders, it is our belief that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs of not acting:
In summary, we believe that tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy. Ignoring it will ultimately undermine economic growth.
- The economic and geopolitical costs of unabated climate change could be very severe and globally disruptive. All countries and economies will be affected, but it will be the poorest countries that will suffer earliest and the most
- The costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change are manageable, especially if guided by a common international vision
- Each year we delay action to control global emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that will likely necessitate even steeper reductions in the future, causing potentially greater economic, environmental and social disruption
- The shift to a low-carbon economy will create significant business opportunities. New markets for low carbon technologies and products, worth billions of dollars, will be created if the world acts on the scale required
It is our view that a sufficiently ambitious, international and comprehensive legally-binding United Nations agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will provide business with the certainty it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies. We believe that an enhanced and extended carbon market needs to be part of this framework as it offers the necessary flexibility, allows for a cost-effective transition and provides financial support to developing countries.
In order to avoid dangerous climate change, the overall targets for emissions reduction must be guided primarily by science. Even an immediate peaking in global emissions would require a subsequent reduction of at least 50% by 2050, according to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, and the later the peak in emissions, the greater the required reduction. All countries will need to play their part but we recognise that the greatest effort must be made by those countries that have already industrialised.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December in Bali, Indonesia, countries will have an opportunity to agree a work-plan of comprehensive negotiations to ensure such an agreement can be signed in Copenhagen in 2009, to come into force post 2012.
We urge world leaders to seize this window of opportunity.
In return, we pledge to engage positively with governments to help develop the policies and measures that are needed internationally and nationally for the business sector to contribute effectively to building a low carbon economy.
We reproduced this article for reference reasons only.
- Signed by members of the UK and EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change:
The Coca Cola Company
CP Holdings Limited
D1 Oils plc
Eureka FUNDS MANAGEMENT
IAG Insurance Australia Group
Industry Funds Management
John Lewis Partnership
Johnson & Johnson
Nokia Siemens Networks
Pakistan Petroleum Limited
RED ELÉ DE ESPAÑA
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE
RT Ryle Technology
Scottish & Southern Energy
SKM SINCLAIR KNIGHT MERZ
State Controller California
State Comptroller New York
USS UNIVERSITIES SUPERANNUATION SCHEME LIMITED
HRH speaks about climate change during a day of engagements in Wales
7th November 2007
The Prince of Wales told business leaders that climate change is the biggest challenge facing society during a visit to Wales today.
Speaking at the All Nations Centre in Cardiff, The Prince said urgent changes had to be made, or Earth would become uninhabitable.
He said: "I don't think there is a more urgent issue for any of us to be addressing at work, at home, and indeed in every facet of our lives, than climate change."
The Prince told delegates at The Prince of Wales's Business Summit on Climate Change that their companies play a key role in dealing with the issue.
His Royal Highness described the evidence on climate change as "frightening" and "alarming".
He added: "It must surely be clear by now that the longer we leave it before taking effective action, the more dire the situation will become and the more desperate the measures that will be needed."
The Prince described why the summit was so important, saying: "In the face of the evidence, doing nothing is simply not an option - it can't be any more, because of the urgency of the situation.
"What on earth is the point of waiting until we test the world to destruction, because we believe really rigidly in empirical, evidence-based science, before taking decisive action?
"On this occasion it will quite simply be too late."
The Prince urged everyone - businesses and members of the public alike – to help protect the environment.
His Royal Highness said: "I would just like each of us to spend a little time thinking about the costs of not getting this right - asking ourselves what our children and grandchildren will say when they look back and assess what we did about climate change, when we actually knew the evidence, and in the light of what we knew.
"At the current levels of progress it seems likely that their assessments of our generation will be rather harsh.
"This really is the most important issue facing us as a society and as a species.
"Because, let's be clear, our planet will survive a high degree of climate change. Planets do survive. But only one planet, as far as we know, currently has the very precise conditions our species needs to survive. This is the problem.
"Make no mistake about it, we are well on the way to destroying those conditions, and making our planet uninhabitable."
The Prince joked: "I know - I've been talking to the plants and trees for years now and you'd be amazed at what you can pick up."
His Royal Highness concluded by saying: "This is not about saving the planet. Actually, it's about saving us. That is where each and every one of us has a responsibility to do what we can."
The Prince urged companies to work together to reduce the impact of climate change, and to reduce their carbon footprints.
His Royal Highness described changing the habits of the general public with regard to tackling climate change as "a real challenge" and asked retailers to engage with customers on the issue.
The Prince said he was "indebted" to members of the business community for attending the summit and said it was not too late to make a real difference.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan addressed the conference, transmitted via video link to simultaneous summits in Edinburgh and St Asaph, North Wales, this morning.
Delegates included Science Museum director Professor Chris Rapley, South Wales Police Chief Constable Barbara Wilding, Corus director Richard Leonard, Ann Beynon, BT Director Wales, and Jane Davidson, Minister for the Environment in the Welsh Assembly.
Earlier in the day, The Prince planted a cross in a Field of Remembrance dedicated to those who died in battle.
At a sombre service in the Alexander Gardens of Cathays Park, Cardiff, His Royal Highness said it was "humbling" to see the sheer number of crosses in the ground with each one marking a life lost in battle.
The Prince also visited a memorial to the men and women who died serving the UK during the Falklands War 25 years ago.
Flanked by the Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, The Prince bowed his head during prayers for the fallen.
The open-air service, led by the Rev Stuart Lisk and attended by veterans from an assortment of regiments, also included prayers for peace in modern times.
A bugler played the Last Post before two minutes' silence was held.
After planting a cross in the park's Field of Remembrance, The Prince gave a short speech: "It is extremely humbling to look around this garden of remembrance and to see such an array of crosses.
"Each cross representing a life lost in the service of this country.
"It is a particularly poignant reminder that the significance of the poppy is as relevant today as it ever was.
"Our armed forces continue to be engaged in operations overseas where, sadly on a daily basis, young men and women are being injured or lose their lives in the service of this country."
He added: "I therefore hope that it gives some comfort to those grieving families of all generations that we do and will remember them."
Earlier in the day, The Prince visited the National Museum of Wales where he attended a reception and met members of the Royal British Legion.
His Royal Highness also spent time at the Falklands war memorial in Cathays Park which has a five tonne Quartzite rock from the battlefield of Mount Harriet as its centrepiece.
Andy Jones, Secretary of the South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA), was responsible for organising the memorial. The Prince of Wales is Patron of SAMA.
He said: "It means a heck of a lot to all the veterans for The Prince to come here."
Before leaving for his next function, The Prince spoke to journalism post-graduate students who had gathered outside the park to greet him.
Catherine Bolsover, 22, said: "He said he hoped we were learning about the ethical side of journalism. He was lovely."
Richard Porter, also 22, said: "We came out during shorthand class to see him. He asked about shorthand and whether it was difficult and very useful."
He added: "He was lovely though."
For his final engagement of the day, The Prince of Wales presented champion fighter Joe Calzaghe with a Lonsdale belt from the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in the sport of boxing.
The latest accolade for the 35-year-old boxer from Newbridge, south Wales, comes days after he became the undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world by defeating Denmark's Mikkel Kessler in front of 50,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The function was held in the banqueting hall of Cardiff Castle and was attended by Joe Calzaghe's parents Enzo and Jackie, and his partner Jo-Emma Lavin.
During the introductions, Joe’s promoter, Frank Warren, told The Prince his fighter was a great example to youngsters all over Britain.
Before the presentation of the belt, The Prince talked to Joe Calzaghe about the rigours of having to lose weight ahead of his fights and related it to his own experience while playing polo.
"Fighting is easy," Joe told The Prince, "making the weight is the hardest part.
"My natural weight is 14 stone and I've put a stone and a half on after the fight."
The Prince also asked the fighter if everyone was cheering for him on Saturday and Joe replied: "Yes, but there was quite a lot of Danish there."
His Royal Highness also spent time talking to Calzaghe's stable mate and WBA light-welterweight champion Gavin Rees, who also hails from the Newbridge area of south Wales.
After The Prince left the castle, Joe said: "It's been a fantastic week. It is great to be here and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
"So much hard work was put into training and winning on Saturday night. This is a great honour."
The Lonsdale belt presented to Joe Calzaghe will not join his collection, which includes the WBC, WBA and WBO, as it will be retained by the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.
Since his victory, Joe Calzaghe admitted he had not slept much and had viewed his fight six times.
"It is fantastic," he said. "I've been buzzing ever since.
"Meeting Prince Charles and to be presented with this beautiful belt for my achievements is fantastic."
Gallery for this article
7th November 2007
HRH carries out engagements in Wales
Diary entry for this article
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The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change gratefully acknowledges
the support of the following leaders and organisations:
- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development,
- Mike Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Care
- Sebastian Gallehr, Chief Executive Officer, European Business Council in Sustainable Energy
- Nigel Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Green Light Trust
- Tom Flood, Chief Executive Officer, BTCV
- Daniel M. Kammen, Founding Director, Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory, Berkeley University
Information provided by the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change
Cambridge Programme for Industry, 3 December 2007