BAD VILBEL, GERMANY - July 8 - Blair, Chirac, Schroeder
the G8 meets in Gleanagles smiling and whistling the tune of a break-through climate deal. Yet, what is the whistlers message to the world community? How do they think we are going to tackle a world-wide problem? Business has a key potential to alleviate this problem. It awaits prompt response.|
While Bush stands isolated in opposing strict curbs on carbon dioxide, the rest of the G8 is, according to Chirac, heading towards an agreement. The question is what kind of agreement Chirac refers to. Voluntary or indicative CO2 emission targets are nothing but cute, says Sebastian Gallehr, Chief Executive Director of the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5). Business requires clear rules for success, and clear rules must be mandatory.
In 2001 already, 200 companies from around the globe (including Deutsche Telekom AG, the Gerling Group, Nuon Holding) called for Kyoto-style emission caps when signing the e-mission 55 business for climate´ initiative launched by GERMANWATCH, WWF and e5. Meanwhile, global players such as GE, BP or Toyota have joint in the advocacy for binding emission targets.
Trend in businesses is to take climate change as an opportunity and not a risk. With oil prices surging through $60 a barrel last week, and predictions mounting to $100 by the end of the year, companies increasingly express their will to invest in green technology reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They will easier walk the talk, if a straightforward international climate agreement gives green light to their aspirations. The e5 message to the G8 States is clear, affirms Gallehr. Establish mandatory targets. If not achievable now, then in 12 months at latest.
If everybody accepts that climate change is a big problem (even Bush has done so these days), then also treat it as a big problem, claims Gallehr. Neither downtalk climate change nor lament about it. Instead, highlight the potentials, shift R&D resources, provide incentives and reward climate pioneers. Business will take up the ball.
About the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5)
The European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5), www.e5.org, is a non-profit trade association and NGO representing the climate protection-related business interests of approximately 120 companies and organisations from across Europe and America. e5s conviction is that proactive sustainable energy and climate protection policies offer the European economy immense advantages and possibilities. At e5, Climate is business.