Copenhagen Calling

26 May 2009

The World Business Summit on Climate Change ended on a rather high note today, when members of the Copenhagen Climate Council presented the Copenhagen Call to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and to Yvo de Boer of the UNFCCC.

The Call identifies six steps seen as imperative to build a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future:

  1. Agreement on a science-based greenhouse gas stabilization path with 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets that will achieve it;
  2. Effective measurement, reporting and verification of emissions performance by business;
  3. Incentives for a dramatic increase in financing low emissions technologies;
  4. Deployment of existing low-emissions technologies and the development of new ones;
  5. Funds to make communities more resilient and able to adapt to the effects of climate change, and
  6. Means to finance forest protection.

Full Copenhagen Call here. Press release here.


Caring for Climate Series

26 May 2009

On Sunday, at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, the Secretary-General launched the Caring for Climate Series, a number of new reports and studies on role of business, investors and governments in tackling climate change. Here is a listing:

  • Best Practices and Policy Frameworks: the 2009 Survey of Caring for Climate Signatories. By GlobeScan.
  • Energy Efficiency and Low Carbon Intensity: Are We Making Progress? By Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Centre for Business and the Environment at Yale
  • Change is Coming: A Framework for Climate Change – A Defining Issue of the 21st Century. By Goldman Sachs.
  • Investor Leadership on Climate Change: An Analysis of the Investment Community’s Role and Snapshot of Recent Investor Activity. By the Principles for Responsible Investment.
  • Building a Green Recovery. By HSBC.
  • Carbon Markets – the Simple Facts. By Mission Climat of Caisse des Dépots.

All reports can be downloaded here.

UN Secretary-General Calls for Greening the Global Economy, Encourages Pro-Climate Advocacy by Business

24 May 2009

An official version of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks at the World Business Summit on Climate Change have been posted on the Global Compact Website.

Live from the WBSCC

24 May 2009

It’s been quiet on this blog for a few days. We are now at the opening session of the World Business Summit in Climate Change. Follow the live webcast here. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has just concluded his opening speech. A very powerful call to action, encouraging businesses to lobby “vigorously and relentlessly for a successful outcome in Copenhagen in December”. And: “Transformation is possible.” For key statements, check out our live twitter feed of the speech. WBSCC feed here.

The full official record of the Secretary-General’s speech should be available at the UN News Centre later today.

Next up: Al Gore.

World Business Summit on Climate Change

20 May 2009

This is just another reminder of the upcoming World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen (24-26 May). Time permitting, we will be doing some live-blogging and twittering (tweeting? twitting?). With now over 600 participants, this promises to be the key business event on the road to COP15. We’ll keep you posted.

From the Alarmed to the Dismissive

19 May 2009

The Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication have released Global Warming’s Six Americas: An Audience Segmentation Analysis, the results of a comprehensive survey of climate change perceptions  in the US. Key findings:

The Alarmed (18%) are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it. The Concerned (33%) – the largest of the six Americas – are also convinced that global warming is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally. Three other Americas – the Cautious (19%), the Disengaged (12%) and the Doubtful (11%) – represent different stages of understanding and acceptance of the problem, and none are actively involved. The final America – the Dismissive (7%) – are very sure it is not happening and are actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It would be interesting to see what these figures – applying the same methodology – look like for other countries, including emerging and developing economies.

Consumption Matters

19 May 2009

UK apparel wholesaler Continental has just completed a comprehensive exercise to determine the carbon footprint of its cotton clothing. The methodology used was British Standards’ PAS 2005:2008.

Here’s what they found for a small charcoal women’s short-sleeve T-shirt with a colour print. The values refer to kg of CO2e (total carbondioxide and other GHGs)  per lifecycle:

The carbon footprint of a T-shirt.

It’s probably not a surprise that consumer use leads the pack here, particularly tumble drying and ironing, which – if avoided – could cut the total by another 37 percent.  The simple message is, of course, one about sustainable consumption patterns – which is still often overlooked. 

The one issue I see is the standard lifecycle definition. The executive summary speaks of 25 washing cycles. Is that cutting it too short? My oldest T-shirt (which I still wear occasionally) is 18 years old. Imagine that footprint! 

(Hat tip: Maya Forstater)