We’re seeing here in Copenhagen the most progressive leading businesses signaling that regulation, a legal framework, a global deal is essential to helping them move in the right direction.
Copenhagen, Denmark (Vocus) December 14, 2009
A global climate agreement and US legislation will help businesses innovate, become more efficient and profitable, and create millions of new jobs, said the chief executives of four major corporations at a business roundtable event hosted by World Wildlife Fund today. The event took place during the United NationÂs global climate negotiations in Copenhagen.
The event, moderated by Becky Anderson, host of the CNNÂs Business International, brought together the heads of The Coca Cola Company, JohnsonDiversey, Duke Energy and Canadian grocery chain Loblaws.
ÂThereÂs no denying it--climate change is real and the time to act is now. Not next quarter. Not next year. Not when itÂs too late. Now,Â said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca Cola Company, which recently joined the ÂCopenhagen Communique,Â which calls for a global climate agreement. ÂThis is the time to show leadership and make history.Â
ÂWeÂre seeing here in Copenhagen the most progressive leading businesses signaling that regulation, a legal framework, a global deal is essential to helping them move in the right direction,Â said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. ÂAs companies look out 50 years and make the long-term investment decisions critical to their business operations, they need regulatory certainty. ThatÂs why corporate leaders are calling for passage of climate legislation in the US and agreement on a global climate deal here in Copenhagen.Â
Jim Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy, the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in North and South America, and the 12th largest globally, noted he was an unusual advocate for climate legislation and a global climate deal. However, he said, the business decisions he faces Â which are measured in billions of dollars and span decades, not quarters Â require the long-term regulatory certainty that can only come from legal frameworks at the national and international levels. Such regulatory certainty, Rogers said, would allow companies to invest and innovate. ÂAction on climate change can stimulate the economy and create millions of jobs.Â
The Âcap and tradeÂ approach of legislation currently before Congress, Rogers said, is a business-friendly solution to climate change, describing it as Âthe ultimate in a public-private approach to problem solving. It allows for a price on carbon. It gives us a roadmap. It gives us certainty. It allows us to invest in technology and develop technology going forward.Â
Galen Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies, Ltd., CanadaÂs largest food distributor and largest employer, echoed the need for regulatory certainty in urging agreement on a global deal in Copenhagen. ÂThis would allow us to make confident decisions, over multiple-years. This will encourage innovative solutions driven by private enterprise and reward leaders,Â Weston said. ÂGive business an environment where we can move aggressively and youÂll be amazed at what we accomplish.Â
JohnsonDiversey Inc. Chairman Curt Johnson said that reducing emissions can also reduce a companyÂs costs, thereby increasing profits. ÂOnce industry adopts a mindset that equates greenhouse gas emissions with waste, weÂll make progress in ways and to an extent that we have never seen before. This will be good for the planet and good for our businesses. But we must act and we must act now.Â
JohnsonDiversey, a member of WWFÂs Climate Savers program, which helps companies reduce their absolute emissions, has substantially cut its output of greenhouse gasses and in so doing has significantly reduced waste and inefficiency. ÂFor every dollar we spend, we find we can save two dollars in waste reduction,Â said Johnson. Because of the enormous opportunity in cutting waste and inefficiency, JohnsonDiversey was able to triple its original target of an 8 percent emissions reduction by 2013 to a 25 percent cut by that same year.
Note to editors: Video and photos available upon request
ACT FOR OUR FUTURE
For more information about WWFÂs efforts to secure Senate passage of climate legislation, please visit http://www.ActForOurFuture.org.
ABOUT WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
WWF is the worldÂs leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.
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