UN launches climate initiative in San Francisco as model to fight global warming

1 March 2007

As part of United Nations efforts to combat global warming, the world body launched a unique partnership today with the United States’ City of San Francisco, the Bay Area Council and a wide array of businesses in the region, aimed at providing a model for actions that businesses and cities around the world can take to combat global warming.

The initiative, the Principles on Climate Leadership, will give businesses in the area a framework to address climate change as well as a forum to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gasses through, for example, possibly setting company-wide emission reduction goals or providing transportation alternatives for employees.

It will also create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the UN Global Compact will seek to place in companies and cities around the world. The Compact is an initiative started in 1999 to advance good corporate citizenship and responsible globalization.

More than 20 companies from a variety of sectors – including Gap Inc., Google and Shaklee – officially endorsed the Principles and also announced the Business Council on Climate Change (“BC3) at a special event in San Francisco – the city that gave birth to the UN with the signing of the Charter in 1945.

“Voluntary initiatives such as the BC3 and the Principles on Climate Leadership will be crucial in bringing about progressive and robust action on the global climate crisis,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

“At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that voluntary action cannot be a substitute for effective regulation – rather, it informs and complements regulation.”

Today’s initiative follows earlier remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he called on the world’s young people to take better care of Planet Earth in the face of global warming than his own generation has.

“We are all complicit in the process of global warming. Unsustainable practices are deeply entrenched in our everyday lives. But in the absence of decisive measures, the true cost of our actions will be borne by succeeding generations, starting with yours,” Mr. Ban told a UN International School conference in the General Assembly Hall in New York.

 

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