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Top global businesses gather for UN ‘Caring for Climate’ initiative

Top global businesses gather for UN ‘Caring for Climate’ initiative

Nukunonu Atoll seaside, one of the regions of the world vulnerable to climate change
A United Nations-backed “Caring for Climate” gathering today is drawing representatives from more than 150 corporations, civil society organizations and governments from around the world to discuss business solutions to the problem of global warming and speed up action on climate change.

The UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the “Caring for Climate” scheme last year, with chief executive officers (CEOs) of 150 companies – including 30 from the Fortune Global 500 – signing on.

Today’s meeting in Geneva is the first gathering of those signatories, aiming to create a shared path in support of an effective successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

“Climate change will undoubtedly reshape the business landscape as we know it,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact. “Companies committed to ‘Caring for Climate’ demonstrate that a growing number of businesses is making a choice that tells us that a sustainable future and business competitiveness can complement each other.”

Since its creation, nearly 300 businesses have signed on, covering 30 industry sectors in 48 countries, including emerging and developing economies.

A recent survey of “Caring for Climate” signatories reflects their optimism about their ability to set targets and reduce their impact on the environment. It also shows that they expect similar leadership from governments, as well as long-term plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions and stepped up investments in low-carbon technologies.