Business leadership vs. business as usual?
Private Sector must rally in support of global climate deal
Progressive businesses must continue to speak up in support of a strong climate deal in Copenhagen or risk allowing their head-in-the-sand competitors to derail the talks, cautioned Oxfam International today, ahead of high-level events on the private sector’s role in tackling climate change.
With conflicting voices emerging from the business community – one calling for ambitious and urgent action and the other for obfuscation and delay – Oxfam is urging progressive business leaders to encourage wavering governments to show leadership in the international negotiations.
The private sector plays a central role in the fight against climate change. Many companies have taken significant steps to cut their own emissions in line with keeping global warming well below 2°C. More and more companies are now recognizing the importance of securing their own markets and supply chains by helping communities adapt and build resilience to its impacts and are seizing opportunities to create and disseminate technologies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions around the world.
“Corporations can open space for negotiators in Copenhagen – or they can close it down,” said Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International's Executive Director. “It is encouraging that an increasing number of companies not only recognize the business case for addressing the climate problem systematically, but are also advocating for public policies that tackle emissions and help developing countries prepare for and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.”
A divided business community
Some in the private sector have lobbied against policies that it sees as threatening “business as usual,” such as the effort just days ago by Business Europe, a coalition of national business associations from across the EU, to water down the EU’s ambition on emission reductions. However, an increasing number of well-known companies have worked together to call loudly for ambitious climate policy action at the national and global levels. This includes the 16 major US-based consumer brands that make up Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) such as Nike, Timberland, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, and eBay. On the global level, the Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change, created by the Prince of Wales and based at the University of Cambridge, has organized the Copenhagen Communiqué. This detailed policy statement - signed by the BICEP companies, GE, Siemens, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and over 800 other major companies around the world - calls for “an ambitious, robust, and equitable global deal on climate change.”
Dissension in the ranks of the business community over climate policy action has been on vivid display in the United States recently, with major companies withdrawing from the US Chamber of Commerce or its board over its backward-looking opposition to government actions to tackle global warming. This conflict is likely to spill over into the international negotiations in Copenhagen.
“A critical mass of major companies has recognized that averting climate catastrophe and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon global economy is a business imperative. We are at a critical juncture, and now is the time for business to call loudly with one voice for a fair, ambitious, and binding global deal,” said Oxfam senior policy advisor Jonathan Jacoby.
Read the media brief: Business and Climate Change
Download the report: Oxfam Poverty Footprint: Understanding Business Contribution to Development
All of Oxfam's latest climate change content
Notes to Editors
NOTE: Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International’s Executive Director will join global business leaders and policy makers at the Copenhagen Business Day debates and is available for interview.
Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam’s Executive Director and Jonathan Jacoby, Oxfam’s Senior Private Sector Advisor will be available for interview. Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam’s International’s Executive Director will join policy makers and global business leaders from US, Europe and developing countries at the Copenhagen Business Day to debate the role of business in delivering an ambitious climate deal.
- Corporate Leaders Group Debate, 12:30 – 14:30, Thursday 10 December at Nero Port, ay Fidskers Plads 9, 2300, Copenhagen S
- Copenhagen Business Day Panel Debate, 14:00 - 16:00, Friday 11 December
Oxfam International is a confederation of independent organizations from 14 countries around the world. It works to help others to tackle poverty.
Oxfam is a member of the tcktcktck campaign - a global coalition environments and development organizations, faith and youth groups and unions that is calling for a fair, ambitious and binding climate agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Climate Change blog
Africa must be in control of its fortune - and therefore it's future http://t.co/kMnJFIQmQu @Winnie_Byanyima via @allafrica1 hour 40 min ago
As summer temps could reach +100°F, health risks increase for #Syria #refugees in Jordan & Lebanon http://t.co/Zhzv5FT8he #SyriaCrisis3 hours 53 min ago
Number of Syrians in need of humanitarian aid rises to over 8 million http://t.co/uYHZbeHonP via @UN @Refugees #SyriaCrisis4 hours 19 min ago
RT @benphillips76: Oxfam's Pan Africa @JanahNcube: "Our leaders say we are rising. They are rising but inequality is obscene. Stealing is n…5 hours 6 min ago
In #Kenya, women own 1/2 of all small & medium enterprises, but lack comparable support/resources that men receive http://t.co/1JscJYHCZJ6 hours 10 sec ago
Cameron: #G8 will 'knock down the wall of secrecy' on UK-linked #taxhavens. Will he make good? http://t.co/NjorjQpqAk @HuffPostUK7 hours 26 sec ago
RT @OxfamEAfrica: "3 bombs fell in one of the camps. Refugees are fleeing." @Oxfam's Eddy Mbuyi on new #Goma fighting http://t.co/ygE0OnshU…7 hours 29 min ago
#Resilience is the new #globaldev buzzword. So how can we reduce #inequality & make people less vulnerable? http://t.co/HIRCgQ68eW #post20158 hours 6 min ago
We welcome @WorldBank support for removal of user fees, a major barrier to achieving Universal Health Coverage http://t.co/16paFMiifN #UHC8 hours 39 min ago
RT @louis_press: Report (in Arabic) on a great org helping Syrian refugees living in cemetery. On @AlArabiya w @ai_eman @Oxfam #syria http:…9 hours 3 min ago
9 hours 11 min ago
We're providing humanitarian aid in #Somalia via an innovative e-cash program http://t.co/AtzoQZzIsO #m4d10 hours 9 sec ago
Ending #taxdodging in #India could feed all hungry people there. And much more. http://t.co/K6M6PlZ3ne10 hours 32 min ago
Tax lost offshore could end world poverty. TWICE OVER. http://t.co/kyaKgvtUcb 1/3 of #taxhavens under UK flag10 hours 56 min ago
[Share the infographic] When the #G8 meets in June, they must end #taxdodging for good http://t.co/WLRT1UZx4f #taxhavens #socmed14 hours 23 sec ago