Business leaders fail to tackle climate change says Oxfam

Global business leaders failed to make the giant stride needed to tackle climate change and fell short in providing the targets and numbers needed, international aid agency Oxfam said as the World Business Summit delivered its Copenhagen Climate Call today.

The communiqué issued by the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen remained unchanged from a draft version, despite three days of negotiations between leading businesses.

The outcome amounts to a “tiny step” as opposed to the “giant step” needed, according to Oxfam.

Oxfam International executive director Jeremy Hobbs, who spoke at the summit, said: “It’s a mystery how such influential and passionate voices could demand more urgency and specific commitments from the global business community - from Ban Ki-Moon, to Al Gore, to progressive businesses - only to be ignored in the final statement,” he said.

“It is ironic that Prime Minister Rassmussen’s remarks at the end were clearer on targets for CO2 emissions cuts than the Summit was able to make to him.”

Hobbs continued: “In speeches and in the corridors, we heard many businesses talking loudly and persuasively for urgency and a safe and fair global deal just 200 days out from final negotiations - but the Summit’s statement let them down. This meeting articulated the scale of the problem but not the specifics of the solution.”

Hobbs added: “The summit’s statement is only a tiny step in pushing for the right political recipe when it could have been a giant stride. It asked for 50% global cuts by 2050 when we need at least 80%. It mentioned mid-term cuts by 2020 - but gave no number: we need at least 40% in developed counties. It mentioned the importance of adaptation finance to poor countries - but again no number: we need at least $50bn a year. These are all deal-breaking issues that this Summit should have tackled but did not.”

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