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E&Y: Global Carbon Plan Unlikely Soon

Businesses should not hold their breath waiting for an international agreement on climate change, according to a report by Ernst & Young.

After the failure of the Durban conference to commit the international community to a new deal on carbon emissions, the consultancy believes that it is unlikely that an treaty that forces companies to radically alter their carbon-related activities will materialize prior to 2015, according to Into the unknown: Climate change post Durban.

The Durban conference committed countries to drawing up a carbon reduction treaty by 2015, but factors such as China’s apparent preference for economic growth over sustainability and political inertia in the U.S. offer little evidence that a deal will be reached prior to the 2015 deadline, the report says.

However, if Barack Obama wins a second, and final, presidential term, freeing himself from the shackles of electoral success, a U.S.-led treaty would be more likely to happen, the report says.

The consultancy stresses that the current lack of international pressure does not mean there is no incentive for companies to think greener. The reputation and financial benefits that can be achieved by improving sustainability should still be considered, according to the report.

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