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Action, action and more action to be showcased at COP 19 in Warsaw

The UN Global Compact, UNEP and UNFCCC secretariat to host the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum on 19 - 20 November

In Focus image NL November 2013Around the world, awareness of climate change has grown by leaps and bounds over the past years. This has increased action on climate change, much of it in the private sector. Climate change has entered into boardrooms decisions and is playing a role in the halls where investment decisions are made. It is on the agendas of energy companies and is leading to new products and services. Consumers are demanding more and more climate-friendly options and companies are responding to this demand.

This is a significant development that steers the world towards a climate-safe development path. The need for this transition is driven home by the recent release of the  physical science of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in September. The IPCC report clearly states that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by 40 percent from the 280ppm in pre-industrial times due to human activity, including burning fossil fuels and land use and management. At present, concentrations are 54 percent above the 1990 level. Unchecked climate change threatens the foundation on which social and economic development are built.

Businesses are waking up to this threat, and are responding with serious climate change action. The results prove that the private sector makes an increasingly important contribution both to the international process and to building momentum to a climate-safe pathway.

This was recognized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who launched the Caring for Climate initiative in 2007. Caring for Climate is the world’s largest voluntary business and climate initiative and has been endorsed by 350 companies from nearly 60 countries. The initiative, which is pursuing a highly robust programme of strategic activities and deliverables, provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical solutions and help shape public policy. UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNFCCC are full partners and co-owners of the initiative.

Since its inception, Caring for Climate has evolved as a catalyst that enables action by bringing policymakers and private sector decision makers together. It facilitated two successful COP/CMP interactions for its signatories. At COP 18 in Doha, the initiative offered business leaders the unique opportunity to directly interface with UNFCCC’s technology, adaptation and finance committee Chairs, as well as the Green Climate Fund Board. At this meeting, the UN Secretary-General reiterated Caring for Climate’s role as a backbone to solving the global climate challenge.

Moving forward, the initiative will offer a focused platform for private sector collaboration at annual UN Climate Change Conferences.

COP 19/CMP 9 in Warsaw is an opportunity to showcase potential for action, and the UN Global Compact, UNEP and UNFCCC secretariat will host the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum on 19-20 November. The Forum will help business and investors directly interface with government negotiators, the UN and civil society, with a view to engaging in dialogue, action and collaboration in support of the UNFCCC process. It aims to scale up business innovation on climate change and gives further encouragement to business and governments to raise ambition on climate policies. We can also expect some concrete announcements on the part of major businesses on how they intend to quickly transition to low-carbon, notably using renewable energy.

Caring for Climate aims to mobilize 400 participants - many from emerging markets and LDCs - for COP 19/CMP 9 with the support of Global Compact Local Network in Poland.

The Climate Business Forum represents a key opportunity for interested stakeholders to connect with the hub of climate change activity. It is one of the many encouraging examples of action that contribute to building the critical mass momentum that places the world on a climate-safe path. View full programme information here.

To participate in the Forum, please contact Ms. Jayoung Park (park10@un.org) and/or Mr. Fernando Castellanos Silveira (fcsilveira@unfccc.int).

Also: Join Christiana Figueres in a Twitter chat hosted by the Climate Group, 7 November at 16:00. Follow @CFigueres on Twitter to find out more.