G8 to Discuss CEO Climate Change Recommendations

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan, will bring detailed climate change recommendations to the Group of Eight's annual summit this month. The recommendations came from G8 leaders and chief executive officers and were delivery to Fukuda on June 20.

The document outlines a new, more "environmentally effective and economically efficient" long-term policy framework to succeed the Kyoto Accord.

The document urges adoption of a rapid and fundamental strategy by governments to bring about a low-carbon world economy. They call on the G8 and other developed country governments to provide leadership through deep absolute cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), as well as direct work with the international business community to develop a pragmatic strategy of cost-effective, medium-term carbon abatement opportunities.

Facilitated by the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the new policy framework is flexible and more results-oriented.

The business leaders suggest a combination of top-down international commitments by governments, particularly by developed economies but also including emerging economies, and practical bottom-up efforts within and across industry sectors in the form of a multifaceted agenda of intensified public-private cooperation.

At the same time, business leaders urge adoption of both a long-term goal, such as the aspiration to at least halve global GHG emissions by 2050 and a series of clear intermediate targets to be achieved in the most cost-effective manner possible through the use of market mechanisms that create clear economic value from emission reductions, including a deep and liquid international market for carbon.

World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chair Klaus Schwab said: "The business community has a crucial contribution to make to the design of a more effective global strategy to combat global warming, and these business leaders are sending a clear message to governments that they are willing and able to engage with ideas and other support if invited to do so. Having reached consensus among leading firms from virtually every industry and region, they have given us a concrete vision of how the international community could construct a plan that is both environmentally and economically sound. I congratulate them for the pragmatic, can-do spirit with which they approached this initiative, which ought to be a source of inspiration for everyone, not least the G8 leaders who will meet in two weeks."

In a hopeful sign for the United Nations negotiating process that is due to culminate in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, CEOs of major companies endorsed the consensus recommendations in a wide range of developed and developing countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia and South Africa, as well as from Europe and the United States. The group includes at least one CEO of a major company from each of the G8 and +5 economies, encompassing virtually every industry sector, such as energy, utilities, aviation, automotive, mining and metals, logistics, information and telecommunications, and financial services.

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