CBI chief calls on UN to press ahead with global climate deal

The CBI has called on the UN to press ahead with a global climate deal. If businesses aren’t given the confidence to invest in green technology with a worldwide agreement, […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The CBI has called on the UN to press ahead with a global climate deal. If businesses aren’t given the confidence to invest in green technology with a worldwide agreement, they could begin to “lose faith” in climate targets imposed on them, warned deputy director-general.

Speaking at the first international Green Business Dinner in London yesterday, Neil Bentley warned that “giving businesses the certainty and confidence to invest in green technologies remains one of the biggest public policy challenges.”

In a plea to the guest speaker of the night, Executive Secretary at the United Nations Framework for the Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, he said: “Sixty-eight per cent of companies now have climate change initiatives in their business strategy, and little wonder when there’s going to be £4trn of global low-carbon business by 2015.

“We could be making more progress if there was an international agreement to base our efforts around and a clear carbon price. Without them we are running into trouble – despite our ambitions.”

Mr Bentley added: “The UN must secure a global, binding and comprehensive climate change deal. Otherwise business and nations will lose faith.”

However, Ms Figueres countered his comments in her speech afterwards, suggesting that no global deal would take place at the next UN climate change meeting, but rather that the “foundations” of new policy were being laid.