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Business Leaders’ Bali Communique Seeks Binding Emission Targets

On the eve of the UN negotiations in Bali, business leaders of 150 global companies, including Coca-Cola, Dupont, Gap, GE, and Johnson and Johnson, have sent a communique to the 130 Environment Ministers that will be attending the Bali conference calling for a comprehensive, legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change.

The initiative is led by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Groups on Climate Change.

The “Bali Communique” notes that “The scientific evidence is now overwhelming” and that “climate change presents very serious global social, environmental and economic risks and it demands an urgent global response.”

The 150 global companies go on to argue 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.”

The business leaders argue that “the overall targets for emissions reduction must be guided primarily by science,” contrasting the argument that has previously been made by some parts of the business community that it is concerns over competitiveness and cost that should set the limit of emission cuts. The leaders note that evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change already points to a reduction being required of “at least 50 percent by 2050” and comment that the “greatest effort” will need to be made by those countries that have already industrialized.

U.S. based companies in support of the communiqué include Coca-Cola, Dupont, Gap, GE, Johnson and Johnson, News Corporation, Nike, Pacific Gas and Electric, Sun Microsystems and United Technologies. European based companies include Anglo-American, British Airways, F&C Asset Management, Ferrovial, Nestle, Nokia, Shell, Tesco, Virgin and Volkswagen while Australian based companies include Insurance Australia Group, Macquarie Global Property Advisors, National Australia Bank, and Westpac.

The communique has also been signed by a number of Chinese companies including Shanghai Electric, Zhufeng Technology and Suntech.

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