Action to curb climate change need not be bad for business or contrary to economic interests, but is in fact “the only rational choice”, Prince Charles will tell world leaders at a crucial UN summit.
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In a video address to delegates at next week’s conference in New York, the prince will call for cooperation between policymakers and business leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating global warming.
As patron of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), a coalition of leading businesses that includes Unilever, Sky, Coca Cola Enterprises, EDF and Tesco, the prince will lead the calls for urgent action.
“The battle against climate change is surely the most defining and pivotal challenge of our times. We cannot meet the climate change challenge unless business and government actively work together,” the prince will say.
“Taking action on climate change is neither inherently bad for business nor against economic interests. It is, in fact, the only rational choice.”
The CLG’s message is supported by a new report that concludes economic growth and the prevention of climate change can be achieved together.
According to the analysis, from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, modern technological innovations and infrastructure investment are making it possible for countries to fight climate change while boosting business.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said the report “underlines that we do not have to choose between climate action and economic growth. The report shows that this is a false dilemma. They can be achieved simultaneously.”
The efforts of the CLG, the prince also said, are evidence of growing support for environmental initiatives within he business world.
Philippe Joubert, chair of the CLG, added, “There is a powerful and growing consensus among leading businesses on the need for action.
“More companies and investors are committed to bold leadership on climate than ever because they know it makes business sense. Now is the time to accelerate both ambition and action.”
The prince’s message will be played to 125 world leaders on September 23, at a summit convened by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon to pave the way for a binding global agreement at a 2015 conference in Paris.
As the talks take place, civil society and environmental groups will coordinate the biggest climate march in history to mark the first day of the summit.
Around 100,000 people are expected to take to the streets in New York, with thousands more rallies organised elsewhere, each demanding climate action.
Photo: Dan Marsh via Flickr