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José Manuel Entrecanales: "The crisis is no excuse to delay measures aimed at fighting climate change -it should move us to take action"

09/22/2009

ACCIONA’s Chairman & CEO and the members of The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change submitted a document to UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon containing specific measures against climate change.

ACCIONA’s Chairman & CEO and the members of The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change submitted a document to UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon containing specific measures against climate change, in advance of the Copenhagen summit.

The members of The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, among them the Chairman & CEO of ACCIONA, José Manuel Entrecanales (the sole Spanish representative), submitted today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the "Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change" , a document containing specific measures and proposals for political leaders in advance of the summit to be held in the Danish capital in December.

The CLGCC delivered the document during the UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change-Global Compact, a climate change conference being held at the UN Headquarters in New York, during the Opening of the 64th Session of the General Assembly. The Forum sets out to provide a top-level political boost for the talks at the Copenhagen international conference scheduled for December; it is hoped that this conference will give rise to an agreement that will take the place of the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012.

The UN conference is part of ‘Climate Week’, a series of high-level meetings and events focused on climate change, attended by more than 300 delegates, among them heads of state, corporate leaders, social leaders and high-ranking UN officials.

At the presentation ceremony of the CLGCC document, José Manuel Entrecanales said: "If an agreement is reached in Copenhagen that is sufficiently ambitious, efficient and fair for the whole world, it will create the right conditions for transforming the world economy. It will send out the economic message that companies need to hear if they are to invest billions of dollars in low carbon-footprint products, services, technology and infrastructure." The ACCIONA Chairman & CEO added: "The climate change problem can be solved here and now, the policies required are relatively clear and the transition costs can be managed: we can’t use the crisis as an excuse to delay these measures any further –on the contrary, we should be driving them harder because the only thing we’re really short of is time."

José Manuel Entrecanales was part of the UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change-Global Compact working group that is drafting the “Private Sector Statement” report, which includes the conclusions on the strategies being used to fight climate change. The report will be submitted to the heads of state who attend the UN-sponsored event.

An active commitment

ACCIONA, in line with the firm commitment to sustainable development that guides its business strategy, joined The Corporate Leaders Group last June, and is the Group’s sole Spanish member to date. The Group brings together corporate leaders and was created in 2007 under the leadership of Charles, Prince of Wales as part of Cambridge University’s Programme for Industry.

These companies share a common vision: the urgent need to develop new political ideas and long-term approaches to fight climate change.

Among the thirty-or-so companies that make up the Group and who signed the ‘Copenhagen Communiqué’ are ACCIONA, Allianz, AXA, BAA, Cemex, Deutsche Telecom, Enel, Fortis, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, Novo Nordisk, Philips, Shell, Skanska, Skai, Sun Microsystems, Tesco, Thames Water Utilities and Vodafone. A further 500 international corporations have signed the agreement. This is not the first time that the Group, with the support of the international business community, has drawn up committed working documents aimed at fighting climate change. Earlier documents include the Bali Communiqué (issued in 2007) and the Poznan Communiqué (in 2008).

Specific proposals

Among the proposals put forward by The Corporate Leaders Group to the Copenhagen summit are the following:

  • To establish a ceiling and a mechanism for the worldwide, long-term reduction of GHG emissions and all their sources, for the period 2013-2050 (with a number of intermediate objectives)
  • To urge developed nations to take on immediate and severe emission-reduction commitments, above the current average objective for worldwide reduction.
  • To urge developing nations to design emission-reduction plans that are congruent with their responsibilities and capacity.

Specific measures include the following:

  • A credible system of emissions measurement, notification and verification.
  • Additional political measures aimed at bringing about a drastic change in energy efficiency and fostering rapid development.
  • The extensive use of low-carbon technologies.
  • A framework to help developing nations to speed up the large-scale use of clean-tech, through solid financing solutions.
  • A financing strategy to help poor nations that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The document specifies: "Financing for adaptation must be additional, predictable, stable and adequate”. Furthermore, the communiqué calls for a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. It also stresses the need for a global and all-embracing approach to international aviation and maritime transport emissions, and a clear strategy on carbon capture and storage, leading to the widespread use of this method".

The communiqué states that "a firm, efficient and fair international legal framework for climate issues would stimulate national political action and give rise to urgently-needed bilateral and regional agreements that would help to meet emission-reduction objectives and speed up the construction of a low-carbon economy.

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