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UN's Ban to Business: Stop Obstructing Climate Protection

UN's Ban tells business to stop climate lobbying 


Euractive/Reuters, May 25, 2009   


Industry should play its part in the fight against climate change by persuading governments to aid carbon cuts rather than lobbying against them, the UN secretary-general told a business conference on Sunday.


The 24-26 May World Business Summit on Climate Change brings together top executives from energy and technology companies and political leaders in Denmark to try to unite behind a common call for long-term climate policies, ahead of a UN conference in December meant to forge a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. 


A draft communiqué from the meeting suggests that powerful businesses are, for the first time, preparing to speak with one voice to call for both long- and mid-term emissions reduction targets, as well as funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change and move to low-carbon technologies.


"For those who are directly or implicitly lobbying against climate action I have a clear message: your ideas are out of date and you are running out of time," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the meeting of more than 500 business leaders.


"The smart money is on the green economy," he said. "Leaders sometimes are weak because they are short-sighted to get the votes," he added, urging businesses to lobby for carbon cuts.

Danish Environment, Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard, who hosts the UN-led December conference, said Denmark's exports of wind power technologies were proof that fighting climate change could be lucrative.


"That's the message to businesses here: put pressure on governments, that this is not just about idealism," she said.

Ban, in an interview with Reuters, also said that a draft US climate bill, which aims to cut US greenhouse gases by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, did not go far enough.


Asked if he was urging Washington to do more, the UN chief replied: "That's what I have been doing and will continue to do."

(EurActiv with Reuters.)