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The Guardian: Businesses call for climate pact

Press Association
Friday November 30, 2007 4:23 AM

The leaders of 150 major global companies have called for a legally binding and comprehensive international deal on climate change.

In a communique, the businesses said they needed a mandatory agreement on emissions reductions to give them the confidence to invest in low-carbon technology.

The statement, led by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, is being sent to environment ministers and heads of state ahead of UN talks in Bali aimed at beginning negotiations on a post-2012 climate deal.

The “Bali Communique” spells out the companies’ belief that: “a sufficiently ambitious, international and comprehensive, legally-binding United Nations agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will provide business with the certainty it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies.”

It has has been signed by household names such as Tesco, Lloyds TSB, Nike, Sky and Nokia.

Companies putting their name to the call for a binding deal also include airlines such as easyJet, BAA and oil giant Shell as well as US and Chinese companies.

The business leaders say global targets for emission reductions – which need to be at least 50% by 2050 – should be based on science, not economic considerations.

The communique also says the companies believe the costs of action to cut carbon emissions is less than the price of inactivity, and that the shift to a low-carbon world will create “significant business opportunities”.

The initiative has been welcomed by the Prince of Wales, who said in an article in the Financial Times that he hopes it will strengthen the resolve of officials gathering in Bali to make the “tough decisions” the world needs.

The communique also won the backing of Friends of the Earth executive director Tony Juniper, who said it was a significant moment in the fight against climate change.

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