Companies lay out global framework to fight climate change
20 February 2007
Companies and organizations from around the world who are members of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC) have endorsed a bold post-Kyoto framework for affecting change at the levels of policy and industry, particularly in regard to creating sustainable energy systems necessary for achieving economic growth.
The companies that have endorsed The Path to Climate Sustainability: A Joint Statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change are from a range of sectors and industries, including air transport, energy, technology, insurance, and banking.
The statement endorsed by Allianz, Bayer, Citigroup, DuPont, General Electric, Volvo, and many others, calls on governments to set scientifically informed targets for greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.
Governments are urged to put a price on carbon emissions and to set policies aimed at addressing energy efficiency and de-carbonization in all sectors. Climate change is "an urgent problem" requiring global action to mitigate risks and impacts while also meeting the need for energy, economic growth and sustainable development.
It outlines cost-effective technologies that exist today and others that could be developed and deployed to improve energy efficiency and help reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases in major sectors of the global economy.
The statement has received endorsements from critical stakeholders and independent experts including leading corporations from all economic sectors; smaller firms with different perspectives and concerns; an array of civil, religious, environmental, research and educational institutions; and a distinguished list of world-leading experts from the fields of climate science, engineering, economics and policy studies.
The signatories include Air France, Alcoa, Allianz, American Electric Power, Bayer, China Renewable Energy Industry Association, Citigroup, DuPont, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, ENDESA, Eni, Eskom, FPL Group, General Electric, Iberdrola, ING, Interface, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Munich Re, NRG Energy, Patagonia, Ricoh, Rolls Royce, Stora Enso North America, Suntech Power, Swiss Re, Vattenfall, Volvo, World Council of Churches, World Petroleum Council, and many others.
"Global businesses are assuming their just place as catalysts for action on climate change. But action by business alone is not enough," said Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of General Electric.
"While we believe that applying technology against problems will create positive business opportunities that can result in positive change, national, state and local governments, academia and other non-governmental organizations must step forward with equal force" said Immelt.
Clement Booth, Executive Board Member of Allianz SE, a global leader in insurance, banking and asset management said "Allianz is seeing signs that climate change is a serious emerging risk, and we expect it to remain a top-tier issue for the insurance industry for many decades. I believe it is our responsibility to address and tackle this risk."
The statement urges governments to set scientifically informed targets for global greenhouse-gas concentrations, including ambitious but achievable interim goals for CO2, and to take immediate action in pursuit of those targets;
To place a price on carbon emissions that is reasonably consistent internationally and across sectors in order to reward efficiency and emission avoidance and encourage innovation;
Establish policy initiatives to address energy efficiency and de-carbonization in all sectors;
Encourage the development and rapid deployment of low-emitting and zero-emitting energy and transportation technologies;
Provide incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and harmful land management practices.
Emphasis is placed on taking proactive advantage of existing technologies and accelerating promising development of new ones in order to significantly increase energy efficiency, dramatically expand the use of non-fossil fuel energy sources, and greatly reduce emissions from the fossil fuels likely to remain in use.
Companies themselves pledge to take action in their own operations as well, from seeking reductions of their own emissions to working to increase public and industry understanding of both the risks of climate change and potential solutions.
"Of course, addressing climate change involves risks and costs. But much greater is the risk of failing to act," said Alain Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, the world's leading producer of aluminum.
See GROCC statement summary
See "The path to climate sustainability: A joint statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (PDF 26p)